There is a tale that all motorists will be familiar with. Picture this; you are in your car stuck in slow moving traffic when suddenly, before you have any time to react, the car in front stops.
Despite slamming on the brakes as quickly as possible, there is a sickening crunch as your bumpers hit the ones in front of you. Although the collision is minor, repairs take time and money, your insurance is likely to go up, and a whiplash claim is possible.
These kinds of accidents should soon be a thing of the past, at least for those who are driving new cars, thanks to AEB; Autonomous Emergency Braking. This system uses laser, video or radar technology to warn drivers of an impending collision before first priming the brakes then performing an automatic emergency stop. AEB isn’t only useful on low speed impacts either, and can detect pedestrians to greatly improve road safety.
The benefits, both financial and human, are massive, and a study commissioned by the European Commission has suggested that by adopting AEB across the motoring industry could reduce accidents by as much as 27%. This could, potentially, save 27,000 lives every year, not to mention the £3.9-£6.3gn that is spent each year on repairs.
Philippe Jean from the EC has spoken of their findings and said that the study would seem to indicate that in Germany alone the congestion that results from accidents represents a financial saving of €100 million, or £78.5m.
He believes that the technology used in AEB is so effective that he announced all commercial vehicles are required to have AEB fitted from November 2012 to gain European Type Approval. This strategy is also currently being considered for all domestic vehicles, but despite it’s clear benefits, take up from major manufacturers has, so far, been on the slow side.