Collision avoidance-systems could be fitted to more cars after the European Commission postponed a ban on the radar they use.
Authorisation to use the current anti-collision radar frequency was due to end in 2013. Manufacturers were allocated a different bandwidth in 2004 but have struggled to develop the technology to work at that frequency.
The European Commission have extended the deadline to 2018. A spokesperson said: 'The Commission has removed a potential barrier to fitting collision-avoidance radar into cars, and the car industry now has to take up the challenge to develop new systems.'
Accidents would fall if all cars in the UK were fitted with radar controlled Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) according to Thatcham. They predicted the technology could prevent 2700 pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and 160,000 whiplash injuries.
Only one in 200 cars in Europe are currently fitted with these systems. American studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have estimated that such systems could prevent 38% of rear-end collisions.
AEB systems can use radar, cameras or lasers. NHTSA research showed that drivers of Volvo XC60s equipped with laser based AEB had fewer insurance claims involving fewer injuries than drivers of Volvo models without it. The AEB equipped XC60s were involved in 17% fewer claims, and 49% fewer injury claims.