Thatcham Research is calling on leading vehicle manufacturers to extend to Europe a commitment they have made in the US to fit autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard on all new cars.
The 10 manufacturers – Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo – have pledged to make crash prevention technologies more widely available to consumers in America.
A recent report from European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) suggests that low speed AEB technology can lead to a 38% reduction in ‘real-world rear-end crashes’.
Thatcham revealed earlier this month that there are now more than 600,000 AEB-enabled cars on the UK’s roads, equating to 1.7% of all cars, but says more needs to be done to increase that number.
Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research, said: “Manufacturers have taken great strides forward in crash avoidance and mitigation technology, but far too frequently it is standard equipment only in luxury vehicles.
“Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes, Nissan and Mazda lead the way in the UK with the highest numbers of cars on our roads with standard fit AEB systems. However, only Volvo has crash prevention technology as standard fit across all models.
“Currently nearly 30% of new cars in the UK have an AEB system available, but not, in most cases, standard. Equipping all new cars in the UK with AEB would result in a reduction of 17,000 deaths and serious injuries on the UK’s roads in the next decade.”
“As a start-point, the UK alone would see an enormous drop in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes if the high-volume sellers – Ford and Vauxhall – introduced standard-fit AEB.”