An automotive safety expert has called for autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to be fitted as standard in all new cars.
While praising the in-roads manufacturers have made in improving car safety, automotive safety research body, Thatcham Research has called for AEB to be fitted to every new car sold.
Thatcham chief executive Peter Shaw pointed out that cars were safer today at every price point than they have ever been but added that there was still much more that consumers and the automotive industry could do to further improve road safety.
“We believe that advanced safety features like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) should be standard on every new car sold, rather than on just 17% as is currently the case,” he said.
Shaw continued: “When you have the chance for everyone to gain from the inclusion of a life-saving technology that has been shown in studies to reduce the likelihood of a front-to-rear crash by almost 40%, you simply cannot afford to miss the opportunity.”
In conjunction with its call for AEB to be standard on all new cars, Thatcham believed that further action was needed in a number of related areas to ensure that Britain saw the maximum benefit from safety technologies available now, but not fully embraced:
Consumers and fleet operators should only consider new cars fitted with AEB as standard.
Car makers should continue to move away from offering individual safety features as options at extra cost, instead making them standard. With research showing that 82% of drivers think safety features currently offered as optional extras on a new car should be included as standard, consumers are giving manufacturers a clear mandate to do this.
The automotive industry should work co-operatively to agree and introduce generic names for safety technologies in place of a variety of different marketing-led names currently used to describe what are essentially the same features. Thatcham favours Automatic Braking as the simplest term for AEB, replacing the likes of City Safety, Active City Stop and City Emergency Braking, an action for which there is strong consumer support: when questioned, 95% of drivers said that vehicle manufacturers should adopt a generic name for AEB.
To help consumers make informed decisions, car makers and dealers should strive to provide simpler, clearer information on safety features, using website and dealership-based assets to better explain the technologies and why they are important. With more than three quarters of drivers saying in a recent survey that they used either car manufacturers or dealers as a source of information when considering the safety of their car, this will bring immediate benefits.
Shaw added: “We also believe that industry-wide adoption of simple, generic names for individual safety features in place of the many different descriptions currently used by car makers would significantly improve consumer awareness and understanding of live-saving technologies.”