I read recently that fitting autonomous emergency braking systems as standard on all commercial vehicles in Britain has the potential to stop almost 2,500 crashes per year.
Analysis of Britain’s department for transport van accident statistics reveals 2,496 incidents involving vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes could have been avoided if autonomous emergency braking systems had been fitted - preventing 348 deaths and serious injuries.
Across the car industry, autonomous emergency braking has the potential to save 1,000 lives and 120,000 casualties over the next 10 years with AEB leading to a real-world accident reduction of 38 per cent. Despite advances in technology, the number of road deaths hit a five-year high in 2017.
Since June 1, 2017, all buyers of a new Volkswagen Caddy, Transporter or Crafter have had autonomous emergency braking systems (front assist with city emergency braking ) fitted as standard, making Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles the only manufacturer to offer the tech as standard across its van range. The technology is regarded as ‘probably the most significant development in vehicle safety since the seat belt’ by Thatcham Research, the motor insurers’ automotive research centre and respected experts in safety, security and crash repair.
Carl zu Dohna, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said the company was proud to be leading the way with AEB standard across its van range.
"Ensuring our customers have the safest and most reliable commercial vehicles is all part of our Working With You promise," he 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.”
AEB systems also have the potential to cut third party insurance claims by 45 per cent meaning lower costs and less time off the road for van drivers and fleet operators. Vehicles fitted with autonomous emergency braking also benefit from an average insurance premium saving of 10 per cent compared to those without. The insurance rating of the new Crafter was reduced by four groups thanks to standard fitment of AEB.