Volkswagen has announced that it will become the first manufacturer to fit all of its new vans sold in the UK with an autonomous emergency braking system. The decision applies to the firm’s Caddy, Transporter and Crafter vans from 1 June 2017.
Autonomous Emergency Braking, or AEB, is fast becoming one of the most important safety systems on modern vehicles. It uses front-facing radar to apply the brakes automatically and stop or slow the vehicle if a collision seems likely.
AEB is already fitted as standard to many cars, but fitment to vans has lagged behind. Where AEB is available, it’s often an option.
According to Thatcham Research, who conduct Euro NCAP safety testing in the UK, AEB has the potential save more than 100 lives and avoid 120,000 casualties over the next ten years. It can reduce the number and severity of collisions and has also been proven to cut third party injury insurance claims by 45 per cent.
Peter Shaw, Chief Executive at Thatcham Research, said:
“Volkswagen is a trailblazer and should be applauded for being the first manufacturer to fit AEB as standard on all its vans in the UK. The truth is that we are seeing a year on year rise in deaths and serious injuries involving vans which this technology can help to avoid.”
Volkswagen says that vehicles fitted with AEB benefit from an average insurance premium reduction of 10%.
The firm’s AEB system has two elements, The first is Front Assist — which alerts the driver and applies the brakes if necessary if an obstacle is approaching too quickly. The second element is City Emergency Braking, which will automatically brake the vehicle at speeds of under 18mph if the driver fails to see or react to an obstacle.