Call for £500 Government autobrake grant

Volvo autobrake
3 Apr, 2014 10:05am Chris Ebbs

Insurance industry body calls for cash incentive for new buyers to spec autobrake tech

A Government cash incentive for motorists who buy cars with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology could save 60 lives and cut serious injuries by up to 760 in just three years.

That’s according to the insurance industry’s automotive research centre, Thatcham. It claims that this figure would increase to 1,220 lives saved and 136,000 casualties avoided over 10 years.

The research body is calling for the Government to introduce a £500 grant for anyone buying a car with the kit. At present, 23 per cent of new cars either have it fitted as an option or standard. But less than 10 per cent of buyers opt for it.

UK car drivers hate Mondays

An insider explained that the idea had been presented to road ministers in Government and that while they had been receptive to it, they questioned where the money for such an incentive could come from.

“A responsible driver who pays extra to reduce the potential impact of their car should benefit from a helping hand from the Government,” explained Thatcham chief executive Peter Shaw.

“The time is right to demonstrate to consumers that vehicles with AEB should be their natural choice, and we calculate that with a
£500 cash incentive – about half the additional cost of the AEB system – the Government would be meeting the motorist halfway.”

Road safety summit talks new safety tech

The rapid growth of technology will be a help and hindrance to road safety over the next five to 10 years, say safety bosses and researchers.

Talking at the UK Road Safety Summit, roads minister Robert Goodwill and shadow roads minister Richard Burden both marked out autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as a key factor in future road safety. However, Richard Cuerden of the Transport Research Laboratory warned that MoT testing will need to keep up with the rise of this kind of tech as garages ensure systems such as AEB are working correctly.

Twelve-year wait to repair UK's pothole-ridden roads

The summit also touched on autonomous driving, and although the views were largely positive, all speakers questioned legislation and laws. Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, Association of Chief Police Officers national roads policing lead, questioned how the rules would work regarding drink-driving and licences in these vehicles. But she said: “Remote stopping will be a real benefit. We have to balance the risk of pursuing people if they’re doing something wrong.”

However, she also said legislation needs to be brought up to date for current technology, such as Internet in cars and the impending arrival of Google Glass.

Disqus - noscript

What a cheek,the insurance co's should give a discount,not be paid for by gov't.How about the gov't pays for your petrol because if you run out on the motorway then you might have an accident ! If it's so good then make it compulsory like ABS is in all cars now.

This is kind of thing Brake should be doing, not screaming "won't somebody think of the children!" and wanting 10mph speed limits.

I assume the system would mean a lower insurance cost so how many years would it take to recover that cost?

Autobraking is a valuable aid, particularly as so many people seem to spend so much time looking down at their mobile phones and central screens rather than what's going on in front of them, but I don't think the taxpayer should be coughing up. I wonder how much this tech reduces insurance premiums? After all from what Thatcham says its going to reduce what the industry has to pay out.

There is a simpler solution, as with a fair amount of recent innovations, make it mandatory for manufacturers to fit from a certain date, just as they have done with ABS, airbags, ESP and DRL's, its something that could be driven through Europe with support from the AA, RAC ADAC, TUV, NCAP, Thatcham and the insurance companies themselves.

It amazing me how they find these life saving figures, during the Speed camera proliferation KSI figures seriously stagnated during the 2000's they had not a clue other than constantly preach about the so-called effectiveness of cameras, yet they still think they can cherry pick the latest safety innovation and attach a "lives saved" prediction...

AEX 1,341
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links