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Take Simple Route to Cutting Crashes

Press release   •   May 13, 2015 15:33 BST

Leading insurance-owned research body, Thatcham Research, is calling on UK fleet operators to make a decisive shift to buying only cars with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as real-world data, released today, shows it reduces rear-end crashes by 38 per cent.

A report from Euro NCAP and ANCAP, the independent safety bodies for Europe and Australasia, today (13 May) announced that low speed AEB technology leads to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes and that there is no significant difference between urban and rural crash benefits.

The publication* – pooling real-world data from five European countries as well as Australia – concludes that low speed AEB technology needs widespread fitment for maximum benefits. Autonomous Emergency Braking is one of the more promising safety technologies becoming increasingly common on modern passenger cars. The low speed option normally consists of an automatic brake function that operates effectively at speeds up to 50km/h.

Commenting on the report, Andrew Miller, Chief Technical Officer of Thatcham Research and President of Euro NCAP said: “Clearly, at this level of effectiveness, low speed AEB is potentially a hugely important active safety technology and widespread fitment through the vehicle fleet should be encouraged in the interest of improved vehicle safety – a key recommendation since 2014.

“These findings strongly support Euro NCAP’s decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles – which is reflected in insurance group ratings. And from next year, Euro NCAP will include in its assessments AEB systems that recognise pedestrians.

“We would like to see the new Government take a lead in the UK – just as Swedish and Australian Governments have done – and mandate only AEB-equipped cars across its own fleet and champion the take-up of AEB across the all-important fleet market.”

Thatcham Research yesterday led a group of top fleet operators in a Round Table discussion at FleetWorld on the theme: Towards the World’s First Crash-Free Fleet.

The discussion will be reported in FleetWorld’s June issue, and will be part of a more extensive report from Thatcham in the autumn.