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.”