The Ksh 6,000 Safety Feature That Could Save Your Life | MHH International

Car safety is rapidly advancing, whilst ironically Kenyan road fatalities are increasing. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is an important innovation which leading safety experts report to be the most important advancement in the sector in recent years according to Whatcar?.

The National Transport Safety Authority’s (NTSA) Road Safety Status Report estimated that 3,000 deaths were the result of road traffic accidents in 2015. Earlier in 2015, NTSA director general Francis Meja asserted that private vehicles increased road accidents by 34.5% in 2015. Whilst Meja attributes private vehicles as a key factor in the increase, traffic boss Charles Murithi asked for pedestrians to be more responsible when crossing the roads. The NTSA’s target is to reduce fatalities on Kenya’s roads by 11% by the end of 2016.

Research by safety experts EuroNCAP confirmed that the most recent AEB technology led to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes under both city and rural conditions. They are recommending widespread fitment of AEB to have maximum results on our roads.Mandatory AEB technology will significantlyreduce road accident injuries and fatalities.

How does AEB work?

AEB uses a combination of radar, lasers and optical sensors to identify obstacles in the road. At first it will alert the driver with an alarm or a flashing light on the dashboard. If the driver fails to take action, the car automatically applies the brakes to avoid the collision.

Basic AEB systems introduced in 2008 use a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) radar to identify an object. They can ‘see’ an obstacle but not define what it is. The most sophisticated systems now use one or two cameras for a ‘stereo’ view of obstacles. Cameras increase the capability as they can tell the difference between metal and matter. So they can assess whether they are viewing another car, bicycle or pedestrian and importantly predict the differences in their likely behaviour.

Why is AEB important?

AEB could reduce fatal crashes by 20-25%* and reduce the number of accidents in which an injury is sustained by 25-35%**, but not everyone is prioritising it in their car purchase.

Many newer cars are now including it as standard or adding it as an option to their features menu, but only 1.6% are choosing it as an optional upgrade in Europe. It seems that consumers are being seduced by in car entertainment systems and panoramic sunroofs ahead of life saving technologies.

Should I choose AEB?

Research data repeatedly shows marked improvements in the reduction of fatalities and injuries. Leading safety experts and Whatcar? Magazine are campaigning for AEB to become a mandatory feature of every new car just as stability control has become. Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, automotive safety experts, says “Front-to rear impacts make up around a quarter of all crashes.” The AEB system could reduce the severity or prevent these incidents entirely.

Jim Holder, editorial director of Whatcar? believes this is the most important innovation since the compulsory introduction of seatbelts. He said” When seatbelts became compulsory for front seat occupants of cars in 1983, the number of drivers killed or seriously injured dropped dramatically.”

Car safety innovation, MHH International

AEB could save you money

A further study by the US insurance industry reviewed the insurance claims of cars fitted with AEB against those with alternative safety features. The research concluded that the repair damage done to the other vehicle were reduced by 10-14 % when AEB was used.In time, cars with AEB fitted could be given a reduced motor insurance premium. Saving lives and money is a clear win-win.

Which cars have AEB?

Different manufacturers provide different levels of AEB. The earliest systems were developed to cope with low speeds for inner city drivers. These are the most commonly available systems reduce or prevent minor incidentsup to 30 mph where more than 75% of road accidents occur. Recent developments have improved both the sensing capabilities of the cars and increased the braking force which can now reach 1G.

The most sophisticated AEB systems can cope with higher speeds which will have greater reduction of more serious accidents. Look towards BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes and Volvo for a more comprehensive system which provides city, highway and pedestrian-detecting systems.

Check the most popular European import cars to see which have AEB available. Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems You can find out if your next car has AEB as standard by checking the guide on Thatcham’s research website. It is important to note that car safety standards vary across continents. EuroNCAP standards are at the forefront of car safety standards. A non-European sourced car may not have the same safety features as the European sourced model. Please always check your car safety standard institute such as JNCAP for Japanese cars before you make your next purchase.

Sources: *Research from the University of Adelaide in Australia of 104 crashes. **Research from the University of Adelaide in Australia of 104 crashes. ***EuroNCAP.com. ****Whatcar? Magazine. *****Thatcham.org. Images courtesy of EuroNCAP.



Sign up to our newsletter and receive tips about the automotive industry.