Thatcham Researchis calling on fleet operators and the new UK Government to make a “decisive shift” to buying only cars with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), on the back of a paper released yesterday which shows AEB “reduces rear-end crashes by 38%”.
The paper*, from Euro NCAP and ANCAP, the independent safety bodies for Europe and Australasia, shows that low speed AEB technology leads to a 38% reduction in “real-world rear-end crashes”, with no significant difference between urban and rural crash benefits.
The publication, which pools real-world data from five European countries as well as Australia, concludes that low speed AEB technology needs widespread fitment for maximum benefits. The low speed option normally consists of an automatic brake function that operates effectively at speeds up to 50km/h.
Andrew Miller, chief technical officer of Thatcham Research and president of Euro NCAP, said: “Clearly, at this level of effectiveness, low speed AEB is potentially a hugely important active safety technology, and widespread fitment through the vehicle fleet should be encouraged in the interest of improved vehicle safety – a key recommendation since 2014.
“These findings strongly support Euro NCAP’s decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles – which is reflected in insurance group ratings. And from next year, Euro NCAP will include in its assessments AEB systems that recognise pedestrians.
“We would like to see the new Government take a lead in the UK – just as Swedish and Australian Governments have done – and mandate only AEB-equipped cars across its own fleet and champion the take-up of AEB across the all-important fleet market.”
*Footnote: the paper ‘Effectiveness of low speed autonomous emergency braking in real-world rear-end crashes’, has been published in the journal ‘Accident Analysis & Prevention’ and can be purchased from Science Direct.