A Government incentive of up to £500 to buyers opting for cars fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) would offer casualty reductions valued at approximately £20bn by 2025, according to Thatcham Research.
In a written submission to the Treasury, Thatcham identified potential for significant benefits ranging from the saving of lives to reductions in CO2 emissions, provided car buyers are incentivised and made aware of the benefits.
Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research, said: “We have presented the Government with what we believe is a compelling case for bringing AEB systems to the attention of UK car buyers and feel that a financial incentive similar in principle to those offered for electric and other low emissions vehicles will be the most effective way forward.
“Currently, seven out of 10 top-selling cars in the UK offer AEB, and for the two best-sellers – the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus – opting for AEB costs just £200.
If the Treasury were to incentivise the take-up we could see more than 17,000 fewer people killed or seriously injured over the next 10 years.”
Thatcham’s call for action has been echoed by the Road Safety Foundation which has called for the EU to mandate low-speed AEB as standard on all new cars from 2017.
Thatcham also says that Robert Goodwill, road safety minister, has given his support to the recommendation, and quotes him as saying: “Technology is at the very heart of improving road safety and we want to ensure that all road users benefit from advanced emergency braking technology so that the casualty toll continues to fall.”