New safety systems being fitted to British cars are set to save thousands of pedestrian injuries and dozens of lives each year, it has been revealed.
The step forward for pedestrian safety is the culmination of years of intensive research undertaken and commissioned by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre.
Autonomous Emergency Braking systems incorporate a raft of cutting edge initiatives tested by Thatcham and utilise a variety technologies to automatically stop a car before it hits a pedestrian, including radar, camera and lasers.
Test results show that once incorporated in to all production models a total of more than 2,700 pedestrian casualties will be prevented in Britain each year.
Ninety two per cent of pedestrian collisions occur at speeds of 30mph or under – within the performance limits of most new safety systems.
Teams of researchers accompanied emergency services to record real life data at the scene of hundreds of accidents across the country.
Some of the AEB systems will also make a massive impact by preventing over 160,000 painful and debilitating whiplash injuries caused each year by the most common crash – the rear end shunt.
Six systems have been under test from vehicle manufacturers as diverse as BMW, Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Mercedes. It is hoped that the Thatcham AEB protocols now being developed will be considered in any future Euro NCAP testing procedures.