Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) systems to become obligatory in Australia?
Smart braking technology could soon become compulsory equipment on new vehicles.
Draft regulations agreed to by 40 UN-member countries will see Advanced Emergency Braking systems (AEB) become a mandatory inclusion on new vehicles from early 2020.
What's included in the draft regulation?
Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK met with representatives from worldwide vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to establish a draft agreement on Autonomous Emergency Braking systems (AEB).
The Working Party on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles (GRVA – formally known as the Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear or GRRF) specified that AEB technology will be fitted to all new commercial and passenger vehicles, perhaps as early as 2020.
The preliminary document lays out the scope of a unified AEB rule. The system will need to automatically detect a possible collision, giving a warning alert before applying the brakes. The goal is to lower the impact velocity, reducing the severity of a crash or avoiding it altogether.
Currently, many car makers offer an AEB system. Sometimes it is part of an optional technology pack, other times a standard safety feature. The UN document lays out specific maximum impact speeds and overrides, as well as several scenarios the system should adapt to. At a basic level, the systems must be able to detect hazards, such as a vehicle or pedestrian that is in the way of the vehicle. Onboard computers and sensors should then alert the driver, automatically engaging the brakes if no action is taken.
Will AEB make our roads safer?
Global crash expert NCAP calculates that road users will benefit greatly from a wider adoption of AEB in vehicles. In the European Union alone, an estimated 1,000 lives per year may be saved, with a 38% drop in rear-end smashes.
When will AEB laws take effect in Australia?
"As part of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018–2020, the Commonwealth is evaluating the case for mandating autonomous emergency braking (AEB) for new cars and light commercial vehicles. Implementation timing is not determined as part of the UN process. Australia will likely consider similar timing as for other major markets," a representative from the Department of Infrastructure told CarAdvice.
Where can I find a car with AEB?
Check the howsafeisyourcar.com.au website. This resource lists each manufacturer's AEB offering (the name varies depending on marketing and branding) and specific models with it fitted.
Are there other benefits to buying a car with smart braking?
Yes, in addition to improved safety, you may have to shell out less on your insurance policy. NRMA Insurance has offered customers a discount if they have an AEB-equipped car since 2014. The saving may be as much as 15%. Other insurers could also knock money off.
The only downside currently is that AEB systems can fail to spot cyclists, something that is alluded to in the UN documentation.