Research indicates that 90% of road accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted or inattentive. Car manufacturers are now developing systems which can alert the driver to an imminent crash and can help him use the maximum braking capacity of the car, and which can also apply the brakes independently of the driver if the situation becomes critical. Such intervention is known as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
Real world performance data suggests that such crash avoidance systems can reduce accidents by up to 27% and can lead to a significant reduction in injuries.
Euro NCAP believes that AEB systems offer a great safety potential. Their assessment will be included in the rating scheme from 2014 onwards, and tests have now been developed to allow the performance of City and Inter-Urban systems to be compared. Euro NCAP has also repeated its AEB fitment survey, originally conducted in June 2012, to establish which systems are currently in the market and the extent to which they are made available by manufacturers.
Euro NCAP has already recognised the safety benefits of some crash avoidance systems through its Advanced rewards.
Euro NCAP has grouped crash avoidance systems into three main categories: City,Inter-Urban and Pedestrian. Systems may fall into just one category, or may meet the requirements of all three.
City AEB can avoid low-speed impacts in city traffic up to 20km/h.
Inter-Urban systems operate over the speed range 50-80km/h but may also provide useful mitigation at lower speeds, typical of an urban environment.
Pedestrian systems can detect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users like cyclists.