Rear­guard ac­tion plan

Cars with the soft­ware to stop them­selves are be­com­ing the rule

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

AUTONOMOUSe­mer­gency brak­ing sys­tems will be com­pul­sory in new cars from 2014 if they are to earn the max­i­mum five-star rat­ing from the Euro­pean crash-test­ing as­sess­ment pro­gram.

Euro NCAP says the soft­ware sys­tems can re­duce the rate of ac­ci­dents by up to 27 per cent and the body es­ti­mates 8000 lives a year could be saved in Europe if all ve­hi­cles were fit­ted with the tech­nol­ogy.

The soft­ware uses radar, cam­era and lasers to scan the road ahead in real time.

When the sys­tem de­tects a change in speed in the car ahead, it can help avoid rearend crashes or re­duce the sever­ity of the im­pact by warn­ing the driver and boost­ing the brak­ing re­sponse and/or by ap­ply­ing the brakes in­de­pen­dently.

Euro NCAP sec­re­tary gen­eral Michiel van Ratin­gen says: ‘‘ A faster pen­e­tra­tion of th­ese tech­nolo­gies into new cars will make it more re­al­is­tic for the Euro­pean Union to reach its tar­get to cut road deaths by 50 per cent by 2020.

‘‘ Con­se­quently, Euro NCAP has de­cided to in­clude (au­ton­o­mous brak­ing) as­sess­ments as part of the over­all star rat­ing from 2014 on­wards and hopes that Euro­pean au­thor­i­ties will soon re­quire AEB as manda­tory on all new ve­hi­cle types.’’

A Euro NCAP sur­vey shows au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing sys­tems are only sold on 21 per cent of new car mod­els now on sale in Europe, with the ma­jor­ity be­ing in lux­ury and large fam­ily cars.

Car mak­ers are mak­ing the sys­tems stan­dard or af­ford­able op­tions on mass-mar­ket ve­hi­cles, Euro NCAP says.

‘‘ Among 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 and the Ford Fo­cus,’’ the sur­vey says.

Craig Duff

Safety first: Cars like the Mazda CX-5 (above) and the Ford Fo­cus (left) al­ready have au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing sys­tem

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