LONDON, England – Thatcham Research in Britain has welcomed a proposal by ‘What Car?’ magazine for automatic emergency braking to be fitted to all cars as a standard item.
A survey had shown that 41% of cars on sale in the UK had the feature available but only 17% as a standard item. Of the remaining 24%, less than two percent of buyers ticked it as an option.
Hwever, 82% of people surveyed said they expected crash protection such as autobraking “to be a given” on every new cars – not an “extra”. (Thatcham/Direct Line Group survey)
BETTER PROMOTION NEEDED
A Thatchem media release said there was no longer any excuse for automakers to launch a new car without autobraking (in much the same way as there is no new car on the market today with non-disc front brakes).
Meanwhile, where it is an “extra”, automakers and their dealers, Thathem said, should more effectively promote and explain the potentially life-saving technology to customers.
The most simple autobraking – Lidar-based and found on vehicles such as Volvo’s V40 and the Mazda 3 – could cost manufacturers as little as £40 (about R900 since the Zuma-inspired rand crash in early 2016). More sophisticaed radar and camera-based systems which can also identify warm-blooded creatures (such as dogs and humans) could cost less than R4600.
The effectiveness of autobraking has already been recognised by insurers (in Britain, at least) with a potential 10% reduction in monthly premiums.
PEACE OF MIND FOR DRIVERS
Thatcham’s director of research, Matthew Avery, told The Corner in a media release: “There is no longer an excuse for automakers to launch new cars without autobraking or for dealers to fail to promote and explain the systems more effectively to customers.
“This will not only reduce insurance premiums but also give peace of mind to drivers by significantly reducing (the severity of) a crash and injuries.”