Findings announced today from a research project jointly commissioned by ANCAP, the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development, and ANCAP's sister organisation Euro NCAP, found that AEB led to a 38.0 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes.
The conclusion drawn was that low-speed AEB needed “widespread fitment for maximum benefits”. It also found that there was no significant difference between urban and rural crash benefits.
This latter point is interesting because AEB generally completely stops the car automatically, if it senses an impending object and gets no driver brake intervention, at speeds of under 50km/h (or 30km/h on some systems).
See our full text and video explanation of AEB here.
“Previous studies have predicted significant expected benefits of AEB technology in low speed rear-end crashes but, so far, there has been little evidence that they really work,” Euro NCAP said.
“AEB is one of the more promising safety assist technologies that is becoming available on new cars — more commonly overseas than in Australia and New Zealand,” ANCAP added.
ANCAP has in recent times taken a harder stance on AEB, though cars without it can — and do — still score five stars.
"Previous studies have predicted significant benefits from AEB technology in low-speed rear-end crashes and current research is now demonstrating its effectiveness," said ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke.
"ANCAP and the Department, together with Euro NCAP, established an expert group of representatives across governments, industry, consumer and insurance organisations to determine the effectiveness of AEB in reducing real-world crashes."
The study used data from five European countries and Australia. It found a 38.0 per cent overall reduction in real-world, rear-end crashes for vehicles fitted with low-speed AEB compared to a sample of equivalent vehicles without AEB technology.
"These findings strongly support ANCAP's push to have manufacturers fit AEB as standard across all new cars," said Clarke.
The study used a standard analysis format and a “novel” prospective meta-analysis approach. Induced exposure methods were adopted to control for any extraneous effects.
“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," said group chairman from the Swedish Transport Administration, Anders Lie.
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."
“These findings strongly support our decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles,” added Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen.