AEB could significantly reduce road traffic accidents

Published: 09/08/2012

New technology could help reduce road traffic accident s by up 27 per cent, according to a study by the European Commission.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) uses radar, laser or video technology to initially warn drivers of an impending frontal collision before preparing the brakes to eventually perform an emergency stop.

It is estimated such technology could save 8,000 lives a year as well as saving between £3.9bn and £6.3bn. It could also significantly help reduce whiplash claims which have dominated the news of late.

Matthew Avery is the Head of Research at Thatcham, the UK safety and security research centre:

“About 90 per cent of all crashes are below 20mph. Risk is obviously based on frequency as well as severity, and whiplash claims tend to come when crashes are between 5 and 20mph.

“That’s where the bulk of whiplash injuries occur, therefore systems specifically targeted in that area are something that insurers will really be keen on.”

Insurers have in fact confirmed cars fitted with AEB could see their ratings reduce by up to four groups by the end of the year.

Commercial vehicles will be required to have AEB fitted by November 2013 in order to gain European Type Approval and there is a similar call for passenger vehicle to too have an AEB deadline.

While the technology is still classed as new, Volvo actually introduced AEB on its XC60 four years ago in 2008. However other manufacturers have not been quick to take up the technology. In fact 79 per cent of cars on sale in Europe do not feature AEB.

Euro NCAP are investigating this high figure and has announced from 2014 it will include AEB in its safety assessment. This means vehicles without the technology will not be able to obtain the maximum five-start safety rating.

Michiel van Ratingen is the Secretary General of Euro NCAP:

“We don’t want to force them [car-makers] into this immediately, but we’ve made it very clear that the best way to ensure a five-star rating from 2014 is to have AEB on the vehicle.

“Our mission is to make these systems more known to the consumer, to make sure they understand the benefits.

“Our second goal is to make sure that the best system wins and is supported the most within the industry and then we can get standardisation, including a name that everybody understands.”

Content correct at time of publication

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