Coalition claims AEB ‘could save hundreds of lives’

12.00 | 28 September 2017 | | 4 comments

A coalition of road safety stakeholders and organisations is urging drivers to purchase autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on their next vehicle – a measure which ‘could save hundreds of lives’.

Led by IAM RoadSmart, the coalition also includes long-term advocates of AEB, Thatcham Research, the RAC and the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

The partners have today (28 Sept) come together to highlight what they describe as ‘a simple but effective way to reduce death and injury on every journey’.

AEB systems apply the brakes to avoid an impending crash with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist. The coalition estimates that pedestrian and cyclist sensing AEB systems could potentially save 1,100 lives and 122,860 casualties in the UK over the next 10 years.   

They also claim that if more car buyers insist on AEB, this could result in 308 fewer deaths and serious injuries by 2025, and save society £138m.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive officer of IAM RoadSmart, said: “Road safety is a shared responsibility and if individuals and fleets ensure their new cars are fitted with AEB we can all make a contribution to safer roads for vulnerable users now.”

Peter Shaw, CEO Thatcham Research said: “There’s an urgent need to change the consumer and fleet mind-set around car safety. Especially when AEB can cost as little as £200.

“Safety should be a deal-breaker, not a nice to have. If it doesn’t have AEB, it shouldn’t be a sale.”

David Bizley, chief engineer, RAC Motoring services, said: “AEB has been demonstrated to reduce the number and severity of accidents, and can therefore contribute to a further reduction in casualties on UK roads.

“It will be fitted as standard on new vehicles from the early 2020s but until then, the RAC is encouraging members and indeed all purchasers of new vehicles to select models fitted with pedestrian and cyclist AEB. 

“By choosing vehicles fitted with pedestrian and cyclist sensing AEB and  rated as 5* for safety by EuroNCAP, drivers can be confident that they are doing their bit to keep our roads among the safest in the world.”

Category: Vehicles & technology.



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    I recall there were fears when anti-lock braking was introduced that some drivers would presume it would shorten their stopping distance and would cause them to drive even faster and closer.

    Collision statistics don’t record incidents that were prevented, so with any collision reduction intervention – whether it’s new technology, or education or enforcement – we can’t really know how successful they were. If a collision did occur involving a vehicle equipped with new safety technology – whether it’s ABS or AEB – how would it be deduced that it played some part, either by reducing the impact speed, or by inducing a false sense of security, thereby increasing the speed of the impact?

    Perhaps before an AEB system is activated, there could be an initial audible warning to the driver whenever safety is compromised – it would have to be quick though!

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    In order that AEB isn’t constantly crying wolf and applying the brakes unnecessarily I would think that the distance between the car and the object it might hit will have to be quite tight before it operates. Having said that, does it know what the roads surface is like? Will it know that it is wet, damp, greasy, covered in diesel, etc., and make appropriate adjustments? I cannot help thinking that many will drive even closer to the vehicle in front, believing that this feature will save them.

    David, Suffolk
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    Something as important as this as a collision prevention feature shouldn’t be an option surely? Shouldn’t it be mandatory?

    I agree with Bob up to a point in that there may be an element of risk compensation by some, but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If a driver is taken ill at the wheel and AEB stops a collision, it’s worth having.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    AS I understand it AEB only works up to certain mph or distances so whilst I believe it to be good thing it has a limit as to its capabilities. What I don’t want to see is drivers putting full responsibility on AEB at higher speeds or in terms of area of greater following on distances. Will it recognise a problem whilst doing say 50 mph and an obstruction some 100 feet ahead or will it not become actionable until say 30 ft from the forward obstruction. A very dangerous situation.

    What I would like to see is a distance meter that is in line with safe space recommendations and one that would warn if the vehicle in front was too close, relative to the speed of both vehicles. Say a green or red warning light showing. Perhaps a beeper as well.

    Bob Craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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