Adopting new technology like automated emergency braking (AEB) could cut annual road tolls in half, says the chief executive of the Australian New Car Assessment Programme.
Nicholas Clark (pictured) says computers should take over from drivers to help cut deaths and injuries.
“If technology can help, we should use it,” he said. “We shouldn’t be severely injured just because of a lapse in attention.
“The more technology we can get into a car, and the less we rely on a driver, the better.”
The Melbourne-based safety body, which is also supported by the New Zealand government, judges cars on their safety features and how they hold up in crash tests.
ANCAP pushed hard on both sides of the Tasman for electronic stability control (ESC) systems to be included as standard safety equipment.
Cars without it cannot be sold in the state of Victoria, although they can be sold elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand.
Now ANCAP wants made mandatory electronic features like AEB that can stop cars in emergencies even before the driver can react. AEB is available in some new cars in New Zealand.
“Real-world data suggests AEB can reduce crashes by up to 27 per cent and ANCAP would like to see this life-saving technology become a mandatory requirement for all new vehicles sold in our region.”
Clarke says AEB is one of the five most important safety features in new cars today.
“The most important technology is really the structure of the car and how it’s built,” he said.
“The structure is key, if you have a good structure then the next order of priority is the restraint system, which includes the airbags and seat belts.
“The most important technology other than structure and airbags is electronic stability control.
Clarke says AEB was the fourth most important feature on some new cars today.
“These systems comprise of a forward looking radar sensor or LIDAR system that scans the road ahead and makes the road ahead… they can see better than most drivers see and are faster to respond,” he says.
“They will, in most cases, give the driver a tactile warning and if the driver does not respond the technology will brake to a stop the car or wash off speed.
“The fifth category is about a group of different technologies such as lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring and driver fatigue sensors. That’s what really makes a great car today.”
The Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide is studying AEB. The NZ Government will receive data on the studies.
1 – Body strength
2 – Airbag and seatbelt restraints
3 – Stability control
4 – Automated emergency braking
5 – Driver awareness aids