Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Monday, 6 June 2011

Autonomous Emergency Braking

Or, how to avoid 271,000 crashes each year!
Spent an afternoon at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) establishment recently investigating Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Thatcham and innovITS Advance.
I was able to try a number of vehicles, both production and prototype models with advanced electronics that are able to take control from the driver and provide braking in emergency situations.
The result of this intervention is either complete avoidance of an impact or much reduced impact speeds with significantly reduced levels of vehicle damage, personal injuries and pedestrian casualties.
Predictions for the UK include: 2,700 fewer pedestrians killed or injured annually, 160,000 fewer whiplash injuries annually, 271,000 crashes will be avoided or reduced in severity annually.
Systems use radar, camera or combinations of both to monitor the road ahead. Potential collisions are identified and warnings may be given by audible, visual or tactile means, if the driver ignores these warnings then the system will apply maximum braking force to either bring the car to a complete standstill and avoid an accident, or reduce the speed of impact as much as possible.
Many systems will only work to best effect below 20mph, above 20mph there could still be retardation - the impact will not be avoided but impact speed will be significantly lower with subsequent reduction in damage and costs.
High speed accidents will still occur and there will be little change from current statistics – for the moment – research and development in this area is ongoing.
AEB technology is currently available in Volvo Cars, some Mercedes Benz models and the new Ford Focus. Fitment in vehicles will be driven by customer demand rather than legislation and it is expected that within the next 10 years the majority of new vehicles will have these systems available as standard fitment in some or all of the range.

What does this mean to the motor salvage and auto recycling marketplace?
The reduction in accident volume will impact total loss volumes and also the opportunities for the use of green parts in vehicle repair – volume of total loss reductions will be difficult to predict but will be greatest on newer vehicles.
With all the technology fitted, and the rapid advance of new technology vehicles will become obsolete much faster than currently so there will be more reaching end of life status at a much younger age – we are heading towards ‘disposable’ vehicles that some consumers will view in much the same way as we currently see computers and other household items.

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