A new safety campaign from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) has used real-life dashcam footage submitted by Australians to highlight the importance of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane support systems (LSS) in new cars.
In an effort to showcase how automated driver assist technologies can intervene, the ads show a variety of near-miss run-ins between pedestrians and drivers, as well as footage of drivers veering out of their lanes and into oncoming traffic.
ANCAP, the country's independent car safety assessment body, is running the footage on national television as of November 8, 2020, with the tagline: "Let's rewrite the ending."
AEB, which allows the car to independently slam on the brakes if it detects a possible collision, can reduce the risk of a rear-end crash by as much as 57 per cent, and has been credited with a 27 per cent reduction in fatal crashes.
Meanwhile, lane-support systems (LSS) like lane-departure warning or lane-keep assist alert drivers if they are veering out of their lane and can also sometimes steer them back in – and can reduce head-on and single vehicle crashes by as much as 30 per cent.
According to ANCAP, 71 per cent of all new vehicles in Australia now receive some form of AEB as standard – a vast improvement on 2015, when 55 per cent of new cars did not offer the technology.
Comparatively, LSS technology is less common, with ANCAP estimating only 53 per cent of new cars offer the feature as standard, up from an estimated 35 per cent in June of 2019.
The average age of Australian vehicles is roughly 10 years old, meaning many motorists are behind the wheels of cars lacking in modern safety technologies.
Alarmingly, ANCAP estimates that only 7 per cent of the 18 million light passenger cars on Australian roads are currently fitted with AEB.
“The message is simple. Mistakes do happen, but today’s collision avoidance technologies can help turn a negative into a
positive,” said Rhianne Robson, ANCAP's Director of Communications and Advocacy.
“The dashcam footage clearly demonstrates that everyday mistakes happen to everyday people, yet a mistake on the road –
whether it be yours or someone else’s – does not have to be fatal.
“We’re encouraging all motorists to check whether the car they currently drive, or looking to buy, is fitted with AEB or LSS
through a simple search tool now available on the ANCAP website."
As of September 2020, Australia's annual road toll stands at 812 lives, a decrease of just over 9 per cent on the same period last year.
Motorists can check whether their current vehicle, or a vehicle they are looking to buy, offers AEB or LSS as standard by heading to this link.