Thatcham Champions Automatic Braking Systems
Thatcham Research has claimed that multi-car collisions could be a thing of the past – or at the very least mitigated – by 2030 thanks to automatic braking systems. This technology scans the road ahead then calculates the required stopping distance to hazards such as traffic. Information can come via laser, radar, or video. If the system concludes that the distance is approaching critical relative to the vehicle's speed - perhaps because the motorist has failed to notice the hazard – it can warn the driver via a beep or flashing light. He/she can then respond. However, if the motorist fails to react the system performs a full emergency stop to avoid or reduce the severity of the impact. Widespread use of this technology might have prevented a recent pile-up on the Isle of Sheppey which involved about one-hundred and thirty vehicles and two-hundred people.
Thatcham Representative Discusses Automatic Braking Systems
Peter Shaw, Chief Executive of Thatcham Research, said: “Our thoughts go out to all those injured or traumatised by this terrible crash. We know all to well the effects of such collisions, and ultimately it is the aim of all those in the insurance and vehicle design sectors to make death or injury on the roads a thing of the past. In recent years, great strides have been made by vehicle manufacturers in making stronger, safer, cars. The evidence from our testing is undeniable and combined with a growing body of real world research and evidence we firmly believe that AEB (autonomous emergency braking) and other ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) have a critical role to play in avoiding both common low-speed shunts that can cause injuries such as whiplash, and mitigating some of the horrendous injuries and fatalities that we see as result of higher speed pile-ups.”
Cars With Automatic Braking Systems
About twenty percent of new vehicles in the UK are available with an automatic braking system. These include the SEAT Mii (city car), Volkswagen up! (city car), Volvo XC60 (four-wheel-drive), Volkswagen Golf (small family car) and the Ford Focus (small family car). As such, this technology is not reserved for expensive vehicles and is likely to become common in the near future. Surely, it is only a matter of time before every new vehicle has this safety feature. As such Euro NCAP – which awards star ratings based on new vehicle safety features – will begin evaluating such systems next year. Roll-on 2030.