Will auto-braking technology make roads safer?

New regulatory changes are calling for auto-braking technology to be fitted to new cars in the hopes that it will make the roads safer and reduce the number of accident claims.

Many road traffic accidents occur at relatively slow speeds. Whiplash claims can emerge from slow-moving accidents quite easily, especially if the car in front of you stops suddenly and you can’t brake fast enough to avoid a rear-end shunt, leading to an expensive repair job, higher insurance premiums, and a possible legal mess if you suffer (or cause) a neck injury in the collision.

However, these accidents could soon become quite rare for anyone driving a new car, thanks to the newest bit of technology that is to be added to modern vehicles. Called Autonomous Emergency Braking, the tech uses an array of sensors fitted to the front of the car designed to both warn a motorist of a possible collision before performing an emergency braking manoeuvre.

While the lion’s share of cars will be fitted with AEB tech that will prevent low-speed collisions, there are versions currently being developed that can work reliably when traveling at faster speeds.  Other innovations are being researched, such as AEB systems that will detect pedestrians and cause the car to come to an emergency stop if needed.

The benefits of such technology are massive, with one European Commission study stating that if adoption of an AEB standard was wide enough, accident rates could be reduced by as much as 27 per cent, saving the lives of 8,000 people a year and saving the insurance industry anywhere from £4 billion to £6 billion in repair and personal injury compensation costs.

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