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Every full-size 2022 pickup truck comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard–except the Ram 1500. Worse yet, Ram pledged in 2016 to include AEB by September 2022. As of this writing, Ram is still charging extra for this lifesaving technology. The only way to keep its promise would be a mid-year refresh.

Ram’s pledge to include AEB

Police officer looking at the caved-in grille of a smashed Ram truck.
Crashed Ram truck | John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is a driver aid that stops your vehicle for you to keep you from hitting an obstacle. Any vehicle with adaptive cruise control has cameras or radar sensors suitable for AEB detection. And any vehicle with an automatic braking system (ABS) is capable of generating the stopping power needed for AEB.

Early AEB only detected other vehicles at city driving speeds. But later generations could detect pedestrians as well. Some modern AEB systems can even detect obstacles far enough away to stop your vehicle at highway speeds.

As AEB proved itself a reliable safety technology, regulators began requiring it. All Japanese-market vehicles had to have AEB by the 2021 model year. The European Union is requiring AEB for new vehicles after May 2022. The United States will not require AEB until 2025, but several automakers pledged to make the safety technology standard by 2022 anyway.

In March 2016, Ram joined 20 other automakers in pledging to make AEB standard in all its light-duty vehicles by September 2022. Regulators lauded it as an “unprecedented commitment.” But six years later, its still unclear whether Ram will keep its promise.

The Ram 1500’s AEB costs extra

Police officers in front of a Ram truck crashed into a bus.
Crashed Ram truck | Cliff Grassmick/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

The base model of the fifth-generation Ram 1500 comes with no proximity sensors. This means no adaptive cruise control, no collision alerts, no parking assist, and no automatic braking.

If you want any of these features on your 2022 Ram 1500, you need to shell out at least $595 for the “Level 1 Safety Group.” According to Ram’s configurator, it does not seem that automatic emergency braking is available on the fourth-generation truck, badged as the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic.

For Ram to keep its automatic braking pledge, it would need to do a mid-year refresh for both the regular Ram 1500 and the Ram 1500 Classic. The automaker would need to begin including the optional AEB on all Ram 1500 pickup trucks. It would also need to find a way to add the feature to all Ram 1500 Classics.

Cheaper full-size pickup truck include AEB standard

Police officers surrounding a red Ram truck involved in a crash with a Mitsubishi SUV between city buildings.
Crashed Ram truck | Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Consumer Reports’ reviewed the 2022 Ram 1500. The publication concluded, “We think FCW and AEB should be standard, especially at this price.”

The 2022 Ford F-150, GMC Sierra, and Chevrolet Silverado are all cheaper than the Ram 1500. The 2022 Toyota Tundra starts at the same price as the Ram 1500. All of these trucks include AEB standard. The Ram does not.

Will we see Ram pull a u-turn and catch up to the segment by September? We certainly hope so. But we’ll have to wait to find out.


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