It might surprise you to know that vehicle safety features and the technologies that can help you avoid a crash are not future technologies, they’re today’s technologies.
Modern vehicles on our roads today are equipped with a range of active safety features - fitted to assist the driver in an emergency whether they are fatigued, unwell, lose concentration, or simply make a mistake.
While not designed to replace the driver, technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and active lane support systems (LSS) are fitted to a wide range of vehicle makes and models – large, small, luxury, budget-friendly – and can drastically reduce your chances of being seriously injured or worse, killed, on the road.
When we see, hear or read about crashes on our roads, we're quick to judge or shake our heads in disbelief – but we're all human and we all make mistakes. Sadly, the result of road crashes are too often negative. With today’s technologies, we can turn that around and re-write the ending.
Many road crashes are the result of late braking and/or braking with insufficient force. A driver may brake too late for several reasons - they are distracted or inattentive; visibility is poor, for instance when driving towards a low sun; or a situation may be very difficult to predict because the driver ahead is braking unexpectedly.
In order to avoid, or minimise the impact of a crash, AEB systems use cameras, sensors (radar / lidar) or a combination of both to monitor the view ahead and detect obstructions in a vehicle’s path. If the driver does not respond, the vehicle automatically applies the brakes.
Some current AEB systems not only have the ability to detect other vehicles, they can also detect and prevent or mitigate the effects of a crash with pedestrians (adults and children) and cyclists.
Source: ANCAP Analysis – Availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) in Australia, June 2020.
Approximately half of all Australian road deaths result from head-on crashes or single vehicle runoff-road crashes, where a vehicle has run off the road into the path of another vehicle, or a collision with a fixed object such as a tree or pole. A driver may be distracted or inattentive, tired or fatigued, or simply stray too far beyond the marked lane resulting in a serious crash or even fatality.
Lane Support Systems such as lane departure warning (LDW) and active lane keep assist (LKA) systems can assist a driver in safely maintaining their intended path.
Lane departure warning systems use cameras and sensors to recognise lane markings and alert the driver through either an audible or visual warning or vibration of the steering wheel if the vehicle is leaving the lane without indicating. Active lane keep assist systems can automatically bring the vehicle back within the lane where the driver fails to respond through autonomous steering input or the braking of specific wheels.
Some current lane support systems not only have the ability to recognise painted lane markings and reflective strips, they can also detect and maintain the vehicle’s path within a non-marked road edge such as a gravel or grassed road shoulder.
Source: Australian light vehicle sales, ANCAP & VFACTS, June 2020
The tests and assessments undertaken by ANCAP as part of its star rating system extend well beyond the traditional and familiar physical crash tests conducted in a test laboratory.
Since 2018, ANCAP has been undertaking on-road effectiveness testing of active collision avoidance technologies including AEB and LSS to demonstrate the function, benefits and limitations of the systems across different vehicle makes and models.
All vehicles fitted with AEB and rated by ANCAP since 2018 have been assessed for their ability to avoid a crash with:
From 2020, vehicles have also been assessed for their ability to avoid a crash with:
All vehicles fitted with LSS and rated by ANCAP since 2018 have been assessed for their ability to avoid a:
A reduction in these types of crashes is particularly important in regional and remote areas of Australia and New Zealand, where the majority of roads are un-divided, single carriageways. 62% of fatalities occur as a result of lane departure crashes.
85% of all new light vehicles (passenger vehicles, SUVs and light commercial vehicles) sold today offer autonomous emergency braking. 81% offer some form of lane support system. Many used vehicle models also offer AEB and LSS.
To find out if your current vehicle, or the one you’re looking to soon buy is equipped with these life-saving technologies, use the search tool below.
Driving or travelling in a vehicle equipped with AEB and/or LSS could save your life.
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