Vehicles fitted with autonomous emergency braking technology (AEB) are 38 per cent less likely to be involved in a rear-end collision, a new report by leading crash-safety authorities has found.
Safety bodies Euro NCAP and its Australian counterpart ANCAP, have released new research that shows that the technology, which is being offered on an increasing number of new cars, offers real safety benefits in offering protection from minor collisions caused by driver inattention.
The study also found that there was no significant differences in AEB's effectiveness between urban and rural environments.
Low-speed AEB technology generally consists of an automatic braking function, which is applied at speeds of up to 31mph, should the system detect an impending collision.
With 75 per cent of all accidents estimated to occur at lower speeds, AEB is seen as a key advancement in the improvement of road safety.
Its importantance is such that Euro NCAP has adapted its testing criteria so that only cars fitted with the technology are able to earn a full five-star crash safety rating.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: "These findings strongly support our decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles.
Next year, testing will become even more stringent, to take into account newer AEB systems that are able to recognise pedestrians.
AEB is offered as an optional extra by a variety of manufacturers, with the kit generally costing around £200. However, drivers are advised that this initial cost could be made back through lower insurance premiums.
Speaking to Auto Express, an Association of British Insurers spokesman said: "Insurers have believed for some time that AEB makes sufficient difference to car safety that it should be included as standard on all new cars. It has already been incorporated in insurance group ratings, meaning anyone having the system fitted to their cars should see a reduction in their motor insurance costs."
Do you have AEB in your car? Has it ever prevented you from having an accident? Have your say in the comments section below.