From the 2014 model year, any manufacturer hoping to score five stars on the Euro NCAP safety ratings will need to make sure the vehicle in question is equipped with AEB, or Autonomous Emergency Braking. Among other features provided by systems like Pre-Safe from Mercedes-Benz and Collision Mitigation Braking System from Honda, it warns a driver if their closing speed on the vehicle ahead is outside of a preset safe braking parameter, and if they neglects to make any inputs, the vehicle will brake for him and prep the safety systems.

A study by the Euro NCAP organization found that "Real world performance data suggests AEB systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%," but it is only available on 21 percent of the cars sold in Europe. The organization hopes to speed fitment of the system to the remaining 79 percent of autos sold in Europe by putting them out of reach of the five-star rating.

The European Union wants to cut down on the current rate of auto fatalities by 50 percent, getting them down to 15,000 per year, by 2020. Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said AEB could save 8,000 lives per year, and that following te introduction of AEB testing, enhanced pedestrian safety systems would join the testing protocol from 2016. We're guessing the U.S. government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be watching this development closely.

Check out a video explaining auto-braking technology from Euro NCAP by scrolling down.

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Euro NCAP to drive availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking systems for safer cars in Europe

Brussels, 13 June 2012 – Euro NCAP today publishes the results of its survey on the availability of Autonomous Emergency Braking systems in Europe and reveals that the assessment programme will include AEB technologies in its star rating from 2014.

Real world performance data suggests AEB systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%. Although the introduction of these active safety technologies is reducing road deaths and injuries, the availability of AEB in Europe is far from standardized. A recent survey undertaken by Euro NCAP reveals that AEB is completely unavailable on 79% of the car models on sale in Europe and that 66% of manufacturers do not offer an AEB system on any of their new car models.

Autonomous Emergency Braking systems can help to avoid crashes or to mitigate their severity by warning the driver and supporting his braking response and/or by applying the brakes independently. The technology generally uses forward-looking radar, lidar and video systems to provide a complete, accurate, real-time image of the road ahead. Since 2010, several car manufacturers have been recognized for the safety benefits of their AEB systems through Euro NCAP Advanced rewards.

Euro NCAP finds that premium brands such as Volvo, Infiniti and Mercedes have the best levels of standard AEB fitment, and are joined by Jaguar, Range Rover, Audi and Lexus when optional fit is also considered. Cars in the Executive and Large Family categories have the highest level of availability, at least as an option. However, some volume sector manufacturers are showing that AEB can be offered as standard or as an affordable option on mass-market vehicles. Amongst others, Mazda, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen are selling AEB systems partly as standard or optional on some high-volume cars such as the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Focus, the Honda Civic and the VW up!. It is understood that Fiat will also make AEB a low-cost option on the new Panda in July 2012. AEB systems are increasingly being made available as cars are replaced by new or facelifted models, such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Ford Fiesta and Ford Kuga.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says 'A faster penetration of these technologies into new cars will make it more realistic for the European Union to reach its target to cut road deaths by 50% by 2020. Consequently, Euro NCAP has decided to include AEB assessments as part of the overall star rating from 2014 onwards and hopes that European authorities will soon require AEB as mandatory on all new vehicle types.'

Since Euro NCAP published the first safety rating in 1997, considerable efforts have been made by car manufacturers, technology providers, authorities and road operators to make cars safer. Despite an important reduction of road deaths the past 15 years, in Europe today, over 30,000 people are still killed on the road and many more are injured every year. The inclusion of AEB systems in the Euro NCAP star rating will alert and encourage consumers to choose AEB when buying a new car as it will improve their safety, make a real difference and help them avoid or mitigate a crash.

Results of Euro NCAP's AEB survey were released today at a major event organized for the 15th anniversary of the organization at the Autoworld in Brussels. Details on the survey are available on the Euro NCAP website.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Jim R
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about waking the hell up and paying attention to the road instead of relying on more and more safety nannies to keep you from injuring yourself? Right. Forgot. Humanity is too lazy for that.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda already provides this system called SCBS ( Smart City Brake System) on CX-5 sold in Europe. I believe it works for speeds under 20mph, most suitable for stop and go traffic.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lame. Too many nannies. Too many stupid people that should be pulled from the road.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah, all the formula one drivers on Autoblog show up to comment. I'm glad these laws in place, keeps people from crashing into ME.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is really sad. I wish instead of making this optional, they would have required it in all the vehicles. While some people may enjoy driving, for most of us, it is a chore, just like doing laundry. If you are driving on a race track, without seat belts - that's your choice. But if you are driving on public roads, sharing it with me, I would very much like you to not rear end my car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They want people to pay attention while driving yet they will require this...hypocrisy at it's best.
      That Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just hate this nanny state BS.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        You do realize they aren't REQUIRING the system, don't you? You would theoretically still be able to buy a car without it as long as most of the market doesn't require it (ie, require a 5-star rating before they'll buy).
          • 2 Years Ago
          Most people commenting here have a reading and critical thinking skills of a fifth grader. They just like to whine about stuff that doesn't affect them in any way.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Next requirement: Autonomous steering for people who can't drive
      • 2 Years Ago
      The number of people who die in auto accidents per capita over the last several decades has PLUMMETED. The whole "unsafe roads" thing is just the media circle-jerking to make you feel unsafe. The roads are safer than ever, largely thanks to technology like this. Should we try to curb distracted driving? Of course. But we should also embrace technology like this.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well said. Every driver has been distracted at some point. Analogy: Should we remove guardrails from all bridges because drivers should NEVER EVER get distracted and veer off course?
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool. Now I only need to use one pedal.
      • 2 Years Ago
      YaYYYY another light to challange me to make it come on!! Just like the traction light and the slip light. Now a, your are closing to fast light. These things remind me of the "You are going to fast" on the highway blinking lights. Some people want to turn the sign on, so they actually go faster. Safer and good fun for everyone!
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