Automatic braking set to become standard
Automatic braking systems on cars will become more and more prevalent after the crash test organisation Euro NCAP announced it will make the technologies part of its car safety star rating from 2014. It is also calling for European authorities to make AEB mandatory on all new vehicle types.
The move is intended to encourage the public to choose AEB when buying a new car to "improve their safety, make a real difference and help them avoid or mitigate a crash," said Euro NCAP.
A survey from the European group, which oversees safety ratings for cars across Europe and in the UK, shows that automated braking systems (AEB) are completely unavailable on 79% of car models on sale in Europe and that 66% of manufacturers do not offer an AEB system on any new car models. Yet real world data suggests these systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%.
The systems can help to avoid crashes or lessen their severity by warning the driver and supporting braking response and/or applying the brakes independently. Typically, the technology uses forward-looking radar and video systems to give a real-time image of the road ahead.
Euro NCAP said that premium brands such as Volvo, Infiniti and Mercedes have the best levels of standard AEB fitment, and are joined by Jaguar, Range Rover, Audi and Lexus when optional fit is also considered. It added that some volume sector manufacturers are showing that AEB can be offered as standard or as an affordable option on mass-market vehicles. Amongst others, Mazda, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen are selling AEB systems partly as standard or optional on some high-volume cars such as the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Focus, the Honda Civic and the VW up!.