Automatic braking systems to be considered UK wide

As the claim culture in the UK shows no sign of abating, car and van manufacturers have been urged to consider the feasibility of fitting autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems to their vehicles in a bid to cut the number of personal injury compensation claims, which are currently driving up the cost of motor insurance for UK customers.

It is thought that the cost of whiplash compensation claims is driving up the cost of British motorists’ insurance policies by up to £90 annually.

The automobile industry has already begun to make increased use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in an increasing number of vehicles in a bid to mitigate and prevent accidents, and is thus far experiencing a considerable degree of success.

Although this move has been applauded as a much need first step, industry insiders believe it is autonomous emergency braking (AEB) which is likely to provide the key to making a real dent in the number of personal injury and whiplash claims made each year, driving down the cost of car and van insurance in the process.

The scheme has already been rolled out on a smaller scale by Volvo, who have found their AEB system has resulted in a 25% reduction in personal injury and accident damage over the course of the year.

Volvo’s ‘City Safety’ system has been fitted as standard on the Volvo XC60, S60 and V60, whilst a number of other vehicles such as the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Up offer AEB as an optional extra.

Louise Ellman MP who launched the report, said: “Insurers, solicitors and claims management companies have themselves driven up the cost of insurance premiums by encouraging people involved in road accidents to claim compensation for personal injury, car hire and other legal costs.

“Although we strongly support access to justice, drivers should not be railroaded by cold callers into launching legal action.”

Van drivers will no doubt be waiting with baited breath to see whether the introduction of AEB will have an impact on the cost of van insurance premiums, or whether the scheme will actually be introduced by many vehicle manufacturers. Watch this space...

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