Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is a powerful vehicle safety feature that automatically activates the brakes when the car’s sensors identify a crash hazard in order to prevent an accident. Although currently, just under 90% of new cars for sale in Australia have it, the feature will become compulsory for all new vehicles – including existing models – in 2023. So, what’s the case for making AEB mandatory, and what does this mean for car owners?
First, let’s get our definitions right. ANCAP, Australasia’s independent vehicle safety authority, provides a functional definition of AEB:
- Autonomous: the system acts independently of the driver.
- Emergency: the system will intervene only in a critical situation.
- Braking: the system applies braking to avoid or mitigate potential collisions.
Not to be confused with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) systems – which detect when the brakes have been applied in an emergency and provide extra force to improve braking performance – AEB was introduced to the market by Volvo in 2009. Since then, it’s gone from being a highly exclusive feature to a fairly common one.
In fact, the availability of AEB in new cars in Australia has increased dramatically in the last five years. In its analysis of market availability of AEB in Australia, ANCAP found that the percentage of new vehicles on the Australian market with AEB as a standard feature increased from 3% in 2015 to 75% in 2021.
When it comes to mandating a technology, assessing availability is one thing – justifying the decision is the other. In a media release dated 11 November, ANCAP explained that AEB has consistently improved safety outcomes on Aussie roads.
“AEB has been shown to reduce police-reported crashes by 55%, rear-end crashes by 40% and vehicle occupant trauma by 28%.”
Having assessed that the rate of availability is high and increasing, and with strong figures to make the case for mandating this life-saving vehicle safety feature, ANCAP announced in November this year that AEB will be compulsory in all new vehicles to be sold in Australia from March 2023 onwards.
In the statement, ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg, explained that Australia’s 2023 deadline still places us behind Europe’s regulatory introduction timeframe, so the mandate serves to ensure full market coverage on a globally appropriate timeline.
“Voluntary fitment alone however cannot achieve full market coverage,” said Hoorweg.
“The mandating of AEB will push manufacturers that have been slow to introduce this technology to catch up – ensuring 100% of new Australian vehicles will have the benefit of AEB from March 2025.”
If you ask us, keeping up with Europe and saving hundreds of lives every year makes for a pretty good case for mandatory AEB!
What else is happening in the world of vehicle safety? Check out our article Essential New Car Safety Features 2021 to get up-to-date with the latest cutting-edge safety features available today. And don’t forget to look after your brakes, automatic or not. Drop in to see a brakes specialist at your local Express Lube for fast repairs and friendly service.