The new Mercedes C-class has topped recent tests on autonomous emergency braking systems by research organisation Thatcham.

The C-class’s system allows the car to bring itself to a complete stop without driver involvement from 25mph, almost twice the speed of most rival systems. As well as increased safety, the system means the C-class has an insurance group five places lower than if it did not have autonomous braking fitted.

Cars with AEB either as standard across the range, or on certain models, are awarded a drop of between one and five insurance groups, depending on factors such as the maximum speed at which it is works. If the systems are optional, they don’t get the insurance benefit.

“In the real world, AEB is already avoiding countless accidents, and these latest tests show that the Mercedes system has moved the technology forward significantly,” said Thatcham Research chief executive Peter Shaw.