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Autonomous braking – the biggest safety feature since seatbelts?

Published: Friday 5th of September 2014 | Author: Holly | Category: Industry News

Automatic braking systems are becoming commonplace with more and more modern motor vehicles. Road safety advocates are hailing this development and if made a compulsory feature could prevent up to 17’000 road deaths a year.

Autonomous Emergency Braking or AEB is widely available however only gets fitted to a fraction of new cars as it is classed as an optional extra by most manufacturers.

The feature has the ability to slow and even completely stop vehicles before a collision at speed of up to 50 mph. If made universal, analysts predict a dramatic drop in road deaths.

CEO of Thatcham, Peter Shaw recently told What Car magazine that its impact could be comparable to the introduction of seat belts in 1983.

A study carried out by the motor insurers’ research centre revealed that fitting all cars with AEB from 2015 could result in 17,000 fewer deaths and serious injuries from car accidents by 2025, as well as reducing insurance premiums by 10 per cent.

Euro NCAP, the European crash test body, has begun including AEB in its safety assessments of new cars this year, prompting hopes it will become soon widespread across the market, but industry leaders said it should be made compulsory immediately.

“This incredible technology should be fitted as standard,” said Dudley Curtis of the European Transport Safety Council.

“As soon as things become mandatory, the costs come down because there is such a huge commercial interest in developing the technology.”

With 90% of traffic accidents being put down to human error or distraction, it looks as though AEB systems will greatly improve the safety of our roads.

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