Eight of the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars now offer five-star crash protection alongside some availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology, according to a new guide produced by Thatcham Research.
Three of the top 10 offer standard fit AEB on more than 70% of the model range, but just one, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, has 100% availability.
Thatcham’s new AEB fitment guide shows that the majority of the most popular cars in Britain now offer five-star crash protection, but standard fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is still only available on half of them (52%).
By monitoring the road ahead using sensor and camera technology, Thatcham says AEB ‘has been shown to reduce low-speed crashes by up to 40%’ by automatically braking to avoid a collision with another car or a pedestrian, if the driver hasn’t responded.
Peter Shaw, Thatcham Research chief executive, said: “It is right to acknowledge the achievements of car makers in providing us with safe cars that offer excellent protection in the event of a crash.
“However, preventing the crash from happening in the first place now must be the focus and that starts with having AEB as standard.
“Prioritising fitment to the best-sellers will make the biggest contribution to reducing the number of crashes on our roads, as well as encouraging other car makers to follow suit.”
The Mercedes C-Class has AEB as standard across its entire range, while the Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Qashqai also have ‘commendable’ levels of standard fitment (83% and 71% respectively) and optional availability on most other trim levels.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Vauxhall Corsa – the UKs second best-selling car – is not available with AEB at all, and the best-selling Ford Fiesta only offers the technology as an optional extra, and this on only just over half of the model range.
Thatcham Research is calling on all car makers to embrace the highest levels of active safety technology.
Peter Shaw added: “Vehicle manufacturers could choose to publicly commit to making AEB standard by 2022 on all new cars sold in the UK.
“20 of the best-known car brands have already done exactly that in the United States and we’d welcome the same commitment in the UK.”