Consultation kick-starts on crash-reducing brake technology for light vehicles

The Australian Government has today begun consulting on the future of vehicle safety technology – Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems for new cars.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Australia was playing a lead role in the international development of a United Nations regulation for AEB systems, which for the first time includes pedestrian protection measures.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving road safety through strong investment and national leadership on our way to preventing deaths and serious injuries occurring on our roads,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Vehicle technology has an important role to play, which is why we are opening consultation on the introduction of a new standard for AEB.

“This process will allow industry and the community to express their views on the use of AEB across the new light vehicle fleet.

“We know there is already strong market and consumer demand for AEB systems, with ANCAP Safety research showing a significant increase in the technology being included in the standard fit on light vehicles – going from 18 to 66 per cent in under three years.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said increasing deployment of effective AEB systems in light and heavy vehicles was a priority action of the National Road Safety Action Plan, recognising the significant safety benefits technology can bring to road users.

“AEB systems detect likely forward collisions, provide the driver with a warning and if the driver does not respond, applies the brakes automatically,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.

“To date, many systems have been unable to detect pedestrians. This draft new regulation would require light vehicle AEB systems to detect likely forward collisions with both vehicles and pedestrians to help keep some of our most vulnerable road users safe.

“The measure is expected to save 586 lives and avoid 20,600 serious injuries.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Hogan said this would build on the Government’s significant progress achieved to improve road safety by increasing the fitment of AEB across the heavy vehicle fleet.

“Increasing the uptake of AEB across the heavy vehicle fleet is expected to save 78 lives and prevent 2,152 serious injuries,” Assistant Minister Hogan said.

“Late last year we held a similar consultation process for heavy vehicle AEB technology, which helped us explore the options and their impacts for the heavy vehicle industry more closely.

“The Regulatory Impact Statement process has been completed and we are now considering stakeholder submissions to help shape the content of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

“The ADRs are being increasingly harmonised with international vehicle regulations.

“This means regulation based on internationally agreed standards provides consumers with access to the safest vehicles from the global market at the lowest cost.”

The consultation Regulation Impact Statement is available at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/adr_comment.aspx

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