Autonomous Braking on Vans Could Prevent 2,500 Crashes per Year in The UK

AEB on Volkswagen Crafter 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
The fast advancements made in the field of technologies for passenger and pedestrian safety is not at all matched by an equal response in legislation. This is why, despite life-saving technologies being widely available, their impact is still limited.
In the UK, for instance, a 2016 report by the Department for Transport and the Thatcham Research center showed that nearly 2,500 crashes that involved vans could have been avoided had an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system be present on the vehicles.

Financially, AEB could help cut third-party insurance claims by 45 percent, while at the same time saving 10 percent in insurance premium compared to vans without the system.

But most importantly, the study's findings claim that 1,000 lives could potentially be saved per year, while over the next 10 years, including injuries, over 120,000 casualties could be averted. That would effectively translate into a 38 percent reduction in accidents in the UK.

“To date, Volkswagen is the only commercial vehicle maker offering AEB as standard across its entire van range,” said in a statement Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research director.

“With the number of accidents involving vans increasing year on year, AEB’s proven ability to avoid and mitigate collisions should not be overlooked.”

Several manufacturers have developed AEB technologies, but no piece of legislation is forcing them to fit it on their vehicles as standard.

AEBs act independently of the driver and will intervene only in a situation it deems to be critical. They usually deploy at first by warning the driver of the impending danger and, should no response be detected, by applying the brakes to mitigate the force of impact or avoid it altogether.

Most such systems use radar, cameras or lidar to detect potential dangers in front of the car. Pairing that with known data such as the car’s speed and trajectory, a prevision about the outcome of the situation can be made.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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