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Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – A Traders Guide

Modern vehicle technology is full of acronyms, like ABS (Antilock Braking System) and AWD (All Wheel Drive). Even though the technology has been around for many years, you may not have heard of AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking).

autonomous breakingAEB represents an important step forward in road safety, yet relatively few drivers of new and used cars are aware that this system exists.

The AEB system is designed to prevent low speed collisions in urban driving conditions, such as a shunt to the rear of another vehicle, it achieves this by scanning the road ahead for obstacles.

Usually, there will be an initial dashboard warning, followed by automatic vehicle braking if the driver does not react in time.

Early versions of this technology used light detection and ranging (LIDAR), while later models use a combination of cameras and radar to detect objects and judge their distance.

AEB was originally meant for city driving speeds below 20mph, but more sophisticated systems are effective at higher speeds. Some AEB systems can detect and avoid pedestrians and cyclists as well as other cars.

Surveys have found a drop in both serious and minor accidents, when comparing statistics for cars with AEB against equivalent models without.

The difference is so noticeable that many motor trade insurance companies are looking into offering a reduction in the insurance policy costs for cars with AEB built in.

The saving can be as much as 10% depending on the type of AEB system installed and the speed at which it will work. Reductions will only be offered on cars where AEB comes as standard, not when it is offered as an optional extra as it’s too difficult to prove whether a vehicle has had the system fitted.

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The motor trade has found that many drivers buying a new car will not opt for AEB when it’s offered to them as an extra at an additional cost.

This might be because it’s not as well-known as ABS, or as appealing for paying to upgrade alloys, paintwork or a sat nav, it may just be because drivers don’t like the idea of a car that brakes by itself!

However, the unit price for AEB systems manufactured by a third party is quite low, starting at under £40 for a basic LIDAR system; and stepping up to £150 for the more sophisticated versions.

If the addition of AEB became a compulsory requirement for the motor trade, vehicle manufacturers would be able to incorporate it without significant additional cost for either the manufacturer or buyer.

The system is already mandatory for new HGVs manufactured in the EU, and it’s likely that it will soon be adopted as the standard for all new cars. In the meantime, consider choosing a car with AEB as standard.

It not only has the potential to reduce your insurance cost, but more importantly to prevent an accident.