Calls for ‘cheap’ emergency braking to be made standard

Automatic emergency braking should be standard on all cars, according to a leading motoring publicat

Automatic emergency braking should be standard on all cars, according to a leading motoring publication. - Credit: supplied

Technology that automatically brakes if it detects a likely collision should be standard on all cars, according to campaigners.

Autonomous emergency braking, known as AEB, is available as standard or as an option on 95% of all new cars. A campaign headed by What Car? has called for this technology to come as standard on all new vehicles.

AEB costs manufacturers about £40 per car, and could reduce fatal crashes by about a quarter. It could also reduce accidents in which an injury occurs by about a third. However, when listed as a paid-for option on a car, just 1.6% of buyers will choose to add it.

Jim Holder, editorial director of What Car?, compares this situation to the introduction of mandatory seatbelts in cars.

'When seatbelts became compulsory for front seat occupants of cars in 1983, the number of drivers killed or seriously injured dropped dramatically, almost overnight. The evidence is irrefutable – AEB saves lives.

'Just as all new cars now come with stability control, so autonomous emergency braking should be standard fit for all mainstream cars.'

Several different types of AEB exist, including camera-based radar systems which are the most expensive. Many manufacturers offer these technologies as part of wider safety packages, or as standard on higher-spec models of their cars.