THE Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has launched its latest campaign to save Victorian lives, featuring new vehicle safety technology that automatically applies the brakes when a collision is imminent.
Auto Emergency Braking (AEB), already a standard feature on more than 50 car models available in Victorian showrooms, has the potential to significantly reduce the number and severity of rear-end collisions, ultimately reducing road trauma in the Victorian community.
“The new TAC campaign aims to drive consumer demand for the technology in the same way earlier campaigns drove a sharp increase in the uptake of safety features like curtain airbags and electronic stability control (ESC),” assistant treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said.
As part of the Road Safety Strategy, the TAC campaign encourages Victorians to visit howsafeisyourcar.com.au and consider purchasing a vehicle fitted with technology that can save lives and AEB is just one of these features that car buyers should consider. AEB typically uses sensors, radar, laser or cameras to scan the road ahead for risks and detect potential collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians or hazards and is an optional feature in cars including the Ford Focus and the Mazda 3.
Most AEB systems will provide an initial warning to the driver when it senses an imminent crash and, if the driver does not respond, AEB will intervene and apply braking.
“Rear end collisions account for about 16 per cent of all injury crashes and this technology could significantly reduce the likelihood of these crashes or reduce impact speeds,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“Based on past experiences, the TAC’s campaign to highlight the life-saving potential of AEB is expected to result in a sharp rise in demand for this technology and it is anticipated that demand will in time lead to a situation where AEB becomes a standard feature on almost every vehicle on the market.”
When the TAC launched its Electronic Stability Control (ESC) campaign in 2004, 10 per cent of cars sold in Victoria were fitted with the technology.
In the next nine years that figure grew to 95 per cent and Victoria consistently outperformed the rest of the country in terms of ESC uptake.
“Through this AEB campaign, we are once again leading the rest of the country in promoting life-saving vehicle-safety technology,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
AEB systems fall into three main categories, with some vehicles featuring a combination of systems:
• Low Speed systems are designed for urban environments where vehicle collisions generally occur at low speeds. The systems generally scan for other vehicles at close range;
• Higher Speed systems typically use long-range radar to scan up to 200m ahead of a vehicle and can be effective in higher speed environments; and
• Pedestrian systems are specifically designed to detect the characteristics of pedestrians and cyclists, often using a combination of camera and radar.