Drivers encouraged to choose life-saving safety tech

Four automotive companies join forces to promote the benefits of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), and we've listed every new car which offers AEB as standard...

Drivers encouraged to choose life-saving safety tech

Checking a new car's Euro NCAP safety rating, asking whether it comes with AEB as standard and knowing what optional safety equipment is available are the three life-saving questions car buyers should be asking.

That's according to a new partnership between Thatcham Research, automotive suppliers Bosch and ZF TRW and tyre manufacturer Continental. The four companies have joined together under the wider Stop The Crash campaign - headed up by Global NCAP - to highlight the importance of AEB and other safety technologies.

The four companies say that by asking these three questions when buying their next car, consumers can help to reduce the number of rear-end crashes in the UK - estimated to be around 100,000 crashes per year - and consequently save lives.

AEB systems work by scanning the road ahead to detect obstacles and warning the driver if a collision is likely. If the driver fails to take action, the system can apply the car's brakes automatically. The most basic systems only scan the road ahead at low speeds, but more advanced systems also work at higher speeds and can detect and react to pedestrians and cyclists in the road.

As What Car? has previously reported, the evidence that AEB saves lives is irrefutable, and Global NCAP Secretary-General David Ward has said the system should be "the number one priority" for anyone choosing a new car.

Demonstrations to show the effecitveness of AEB will be taking place at the London Motor Show, which opens to the public in London from 6-8 May. Tyre safety will also be highlighted at the event, with Continental advising people how to check the tread depth of car tyres.

In the video below, you can see the effectiveness of AEB on an Audi A3 e-tron.

Is it always called AEB?

AEB is an umbrella term for the technology involved in Autonomous Emergency Braking, but car makers often use their own names for the system. Below are some of the names used for AEB by different car makers.

  • Audi - Pre Sense
  • BMW - Driving Assistant Plus or Active Guard
  • DS - Active City Brake
  • Fiat - City Brake Control
  • Ford - Active City Stop
  • Honda - City Brake Active System
  • Hyundai - Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Infiniti - Forward Collision Warning
  • Jaguar / Land Rover - Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Jeep - Forward Collision Plus
  • Lexus - Pre Crash System
  • Mazda - Smart City Braking Support
  • Mercedes-Benz - Collision Prevention Assist
  • Mitsubishi - Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Nissan - Forward Emergency Braking or Front Emergency Braking
  • Peugeot - Emergency Collision Alert with Emergency Braking
  • Skoda - Front Assist
  • Subaru - Eyesight
  • Suzuki - Radar Brake Support
  • Tesla - Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Toyota - Pre-Crash System
  • Vauxhall - Driving Assistance Pack
  • Volkswagen - City Emergency Braking
  • Volvo - City Safety

Should I care about AEB?

Absolutely. More and more car makers are making AEB standard equipment on their new models, but it's always worth checking with the dealer when you buy that AEB is fitted. Interestingly, a recent survey by What Car? revealed that British drivers are more likely to choose connectivity gadgets like satellite navigation and Bluetooth over life-saving technology, such as AEB. Fitting AEB to your car could cost as little as £200 - a small price to pay for such important technology.

Want to know more? Read What Car?'s full guide to Autonomous Emergency Braking here.