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AEB SYSTEMS: Safe in the city

Date: 09 May 2013


Jowsey suggests, too, that fleet operators could be looking at an annual saving of around £200 per car for typical, upper medium models fitted with AEBs as standard. He cited an average vehicle in insurance group 33 with an annual cost of £1525 and an identical one in group 28 at £1330.

"If you've got a fleet of 50 cars and that applies to, say, half of them, then it's something that's really worth thinking about," he says. "If

I were managing a fleet, that's the sort of thing I'd be hoping to have on the cars."

He concludes that the economies offered by AEBs highlight the fact that there are serious savings to be made by scrutinising insurance policies and picking the right vehicles: "Insurance is another really good example of 'it's easy to leave it'. [fleets] need to be aware and they need to be more proactive in getting vehicles that are appropriate."

AEB: So, what is it exactly?

For those who have yet to hear of the technology, AEB uses a series of forward-facing sensors at the front of the car to detect an imminent collision. The system constantly monitors the road ahead and if it believes the car is about to hit something, it emits an audible warning. If there's no time, it will automatically apply the brakes and bring the car to a halt.

Not every version is identical, but the vast majority of them operate at speeds of around 30mph or less, hence why they're often stamped with the word 'city' by car manufacturers (Volvo's system is known as City Safety, while Mazda calls its version Smart City Brake Support). The reason for this is that according to UK safety organisation Thatcham, 75% of crashes occur at less than 20mph.