Drivers who have vehicles with emergency braking systems fitted as standard can pick up cheaper car insurance premiums. Several car insurance firms recognise the benefits of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
The safety device is starting to filter through as a standard for some more expensive cars, like Volvo, Mazda and Mercedes.
Only cars made after April 2014 will qualify for the insurance discount as earlier models were upgraded with the technology and did not have AEB fitted as standard.
According to automotive technology research firm Thatcham, AEB fitted as standard across all cars could cut the number of low-speed crashes by 20% and also lead to fewer high-speed accidents.
Some AEB devices automatically apply the brakes when sensors around the car detect pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles or obstructions. Other systems sound an alert in the vehicle if the driver does not react to a hazard within a pre-set time limit.
AEB comes in several versions. Thatcham is looking at a setting a standard for manufacturers that will help drivers get a discount from their car insurer.
Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham Research said: “This initiative is a great boost to our campaign to cut deaths and injuries on our roads. Around 90% of road crashes are due to human error or distraction. Currently 23% of new cars on sale today have AEB as optional or standard fit – yet less than 10% of cars sold have AEB specified.
“We hope that, ultimately, regulation or a government incentive of £500 will accelerate take-up of AEB-fitted cars, but any extra incentive from insurers should help reward motorists who take a responsible approach to being on the road.”
Car models with AEB fitted as standard include:
- Volvo S60, S80, V40, V40CC, V60, V60 Hybrid, V70, XC60, XC70
- Mazda 3 and CX-5
- Mercedes Class A, B, CLA, E, GL, M and S
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