Australian Agency Urges Use of Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems

The technology reacts to detected crash hazards, with or without the driver's assistance.

The Queensland (Australia) Department of Transport and Main Roads has issued a report analyzing the value of autonomous emergency braking technology in motor vehicles to prevent head-on crashes, which the agency says are the most common cause of road fatalities in Queensland. The AEB technology is also called forward collision avoidance technology.

Such systems sense other vehicles or objects in front of the vehicle. They react, with or without the driver's assistance, by priming the brake systems, warning the driver, and applying the brakes.

The agency recommends that people buying a new vehicle consider purchasing one that has AEB technology installed, saying the best systems combine long-range detection (such as adaptive cruise control) with short-range, wide-angle detection. Insurers already are offering discounts on auto insurance premiums for vehicles so equipped, according to the department.

Widespread use of the technology could reduce fatal crashes by 20 to 40 percent and reduce injuries by 30 to 50 percent, the study concluded. It found systems are particularly cost effective for heavy vehicles such as trucks.

The report is available at http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/~/media/648d1afa-b844-4b18-96aa-d1e6594602b4/fcatreport2012.pdf.

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