The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

NEW tech­nol­ogy could see the road toll halved in the next eight years.

The tech­nol­ogy which ap­plies the brakes au­to­mat­i­cally if there is a dan­ger of a crash ahead is a po­ten­tial life saver, claims the Euro NCAP or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The tech­nol­ogy uses for­ward­look­ing radar, lidar and video cam­eras to mon­i­tor the view ahead of the car and alert the driver of im­pend­ing dan­gers.

If the driver doesn’t re­spond to the alerts the car starts to brake it­self.

Real-world per­for­mance data ob­tained by Euro NCAP sug­gests that Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brak­ing (AEB) can re­duce crashes by up to 27 per cent, but as yet only about 20 per cent of Euro­pean new car mod­els have this tech­nol­ogy.

In ad­di­tion, re­sults from re­search con­ducted in the US by the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute for High­way Safety con­firm that in­sur­ance claims on cars fit­ted with AEB have al­ready been re­duced by 14 per cent.

Here in Aus­tralia the tech­nol­ogy has been pi­o­neered by Volvo and Subaru whose cars have ben­e­fited from a cut in in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums as a re­sult. ANCAP CEO Ni­cholas Clarke said the fig­ures are out­stand­ing, given that the tech­nol­ogy is new and its pen­e­tra­tion into the mar­ket partly due to the Lux­ury Car Tax has been mod­est.

“AEB is yet an­other tech­nol­ogy that of­fers the po­ten­tial for sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions in the road toll and can prob­a­bly be con­sid­ered the next seat belt or Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol ( ESC) equiv­a­lent in terms of sav­ing lives,” Mr Clarke said.

“With the swift adoption of new tech­nol­ogy like AEB, there is a real prospect that the road toll could be cut in half by 2020.

“In Europe, AEB is not re­stricted to higher-priced mod­els only, so we are hop­ing for early in­stal­la­tion of AEB across the model range in Aus­tralia and New Zealand,” he said.

“Ad­vanced safety as­sist tech­nol­ogy can help re­move the weak­est link when it comes to car crashes: the driver.”

“We have al­ready seen what tech­nol­ogy can do to pro­tect road users – ESC has been the most sig­nif­i­cant life­sav­ing tech­nol­ogy since the seat belt.”

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