Fitting autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems as standard on all light commercial vehicles in the UK could stop nearly 2,500 crashes a year according to statistics from the Department for Transport.
The government figures reveal a total of 2,496 incidents involving vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes that could have been avoided if autonomous emergency braking systems had been fitted.
Meanwhile, across the car industry as a whole, autonomous emergency braking is claimed to have the potential to save 1,000 lives and 120,000 casualties over the next ten years. Thatcham Research, the UK’s independent automotive research centre, argues that the technology is “probably the most significant development in vehicle safety since the seat belt.”
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, argues: “With the number of accidents involving vans increasing year on year, AEB’s proven ability to avoid and mitigate collisions should not be overlooked.”
Currently, Volkswagen is the only manufacturer to offer AEB as standard across its van range. Carl zu Dohma, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Autonomous emergency braking systems mean safer vehicles, fewer accidents and therefore reduced downtime and lower costs for fleets – as well as the potential to save lives. These are vital goals for any vehicle manufacturer.”