An acoustic emission (AE) approach to evaluate low-temperature cracking susceptibility of asphalt binders and asphalt concrete mixtures is presented. Thin films of asphalt binders were bonded to granite substrates and exposed to temperatures ranging from 15°C to-50°C. Differential thermal contraction between granite substrates and asphalt binders induces progressive higher thermal stresses in the binders resulting in the thermal crack formation, which is accompanied by a release of elastic energy in the form of transient stress waves (AE). Assuming the cracking temperature (Tcr) to be the temperature at which AE signal energy exceeds a pre-selected threshold energy level, this AE testing approach was found to be sensitive and repeatable for predicting cracking temperatures (Tcr) in asphalt binders and asphalt concrete mixtures. These AE-based Tcr predictions showed strong correlations (R2=0.9) with predictions based upon ASSHTO TP1 and with ASSHTO MP1A protocols. Similar results were also obtained when asphalt concrete mixtures samples (both laboratory and field samples) were exposed to temperatures ranging from 15°C to -50°C.