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Study: Autonomous braking WILL save you

2015-05-14 11:09

CITY SAFE: Volvo's XC90, due in SA later this year, applies automatic braking (above) in low-speed scenarios. Image: Supplied

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BRUSSELS, Belgium -  Euro NCAP and ANCAP confirmed on Wednesday (13 May 2015) the effectiveness of low speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in real-world rear-end crashes in the online journal: ‘Accident Analysis & Prevention’.

The publication reported:

 •  Low Speed AEB technology leads to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes
 •  No significant difference between urban and rural crash benefits
 •  Meta-analysis is an effective method for combining data from various countries

The publication concluded that low speed AEB technology needs widespread adoption.

INCREASINGLY COMMON

Autonomous emergency braking is one of the more promising safety technologies that are becoming increasingly common on modern cars. The low-speed option normally consists of an automatic brake function that operates at up to 30 or 50km/h. Previous studies have predicted significant benefits of AEB technology in low speed rear-end crashes but, so far, there has been little evidence that they really work.

Volvo’s ‘City Safe’ function, an umbrella term used for their auto brake function on all their cars, will be standard on the forthcoming XC90.  

Real-world evaluations of advanced safety systems are often limited by slow take-up rates, insufficient crash data and lower crash rates of new, safer vehicles. Euro NCAP, with support of ANCAP, has initiated the ‘Validating Vehicle Safety through Meta-Analysis’ (VVSMA) group that brings together experts from governments, industry, consumer and insurance organisations.

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The group pooled data from five European countries plus Australia using a standard analysis format and a novel prospective meta-analysis approach.

38% REDUCTION IN LOW SPEED CRASHES

The findings showed a 38% overall reduction in real-world, rear-end crashes for vehicles fitted with low speed AEB compared to a sample of equivalent vehicles with no AEB. There was no statistical difference found between urban (≤60km/h) and rural (>60km/h) speed zones.

Dr Anders Lie, the group chairman from the Swedish Transport Administration, commented: “The meta-analysis approach used in this analysis is a unique academic contribution to the evaluation of vehicle safety technologies internationally and proved to be reliable with robust findings." 

Clearly, at this level of effectiveness, low speed AEB is potentially an important active safety technology and widespread fitment through the vehicle fleet should be encouraged in the interest of improved vehicle safety.”

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: “These findings strongly support our decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles. Through
VVSMA, we will continue to monitor the effectiveness in reducing real world crashes of the advanced systems that are promoted in order to validate and improve the overall star rating.”


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