Thatcham Research welcomed European Commission announcement of proposals for the introduction of new road safety measures, some of the most significant in the past decade, and calls on the UK Government and car makers to not stall on making Autonomous Emergency Braking mandatory on all cars and vans.
The so-called EU General Safety Regulation has not been updated for 10 years, and provides the opportunity to offer UK consumers reassurance that key lifesaving technologies are available on all new vehicles.
The package includes versions of AEB and Intelligent Speed Assistance to be applied in phases for new models from 2020.
Matthew Avery, Director of Research at Thatcham Research, said, “Just as seatbelts are a legal requirement on all cars and vans, AEB should be as well. We have campaigned for many years for it to be standard on all vehicles, and with the latest AEB systems now capable of identifying pedestrians and cyclists, there is an opportunity for the UK Government to address the growing number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities. We would hope that no blockers are put in the way by carmakers or parliamentarians around making these technologies mandatory on all UK cars and vans as soon as possible.”
AEB is a lifesaving crash avoidance system that Thatcham Research has campaigned to be standard for the past five years. It has been found that cars with AEB have a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes. Thatcham Research has calculated that it has the potential to save 1,100 lives and more than 120,000 casualties over the next 10 years.
Since 2014, AEB has been included in the Euro NCAP car safety test regime, which has helped to drive adoption by carmakers. In 2017, for example, 54% of all cars tested by Euro NCAP had AEB as standard.
However, in the UK only 30% of cars on sale have AEB as standard, as it is mostly offered as an optional extra. More worryingly, of the top 10 best-selling UK car brands in 2017, only one (Land Rover) had 100% fitment across their model range, while significantly, the top two car brands (Ford and Vauxhall) had only 7% and 14% fitment across their entire car range.