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New car registrations to bring record-breaking safety to UK roads

8 September 2015

Based on previous monthly averages, Thatcham predicts an additional 27,000 new cars with standard fit autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to hit UK roads this September, making the total over 600,000 or 1.7%.

“These estimates don’t take account of the anticipated sales surge as the new ‘65’ plate registrations take to the road,” says Andrew Miller, President of Euro NCAP and Chief Technical Officer of Thatcham Research.

Recent joint data from Euro NCAP and ANCAP, the independent car safety bodies for Europe and Australasia, revealed 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.

“Low speed AEB technology needs widespread fitment for maximum benefits,” says Miller. “AEB is the first of the new automated crash avoidance technologies and is 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.

“At this level of effectiveness, AEB is a hugely important active safety technology. In the last six months alone we’ve seen an additional 46,000 Mercedes and 28,000 Volkswagens on our roads with standard fit AEB. The biggest game-changer though will come when some of the UK’s best-sellers like Ford and Vauxhall begin to fit the system across their whole range. Crash-prevention technology is no longer a premium-brand luxury and has the potential to bring significant safety benefits to fleets large and small.”

AEB technology is now a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles – which is reflected in ABI insurance group ratings administered by Thatcham. And from January next year, Euro NCAP will include AEB systems that are capable of pedestrian avoidance in its assessments.