ANCAP approval for autonomous technology

While we're not quite at the point of having our cars drive themselves, we're getting close. With more autonomous features becoming standard in cars, the day we let vehicles take over could be just around the corner. 

Until then, drivers will have to be content with autonomous technology cutting in where needed rather than taking complete control. 

Autonomous braking gets ANCAP tick

One of the major focuses for autonomous systems in cars is accident avoidance, with sensors and computer systems providing superhuman reactions in times of stress. 

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is a significant part of this, stepping in when it detects an imminent collision. It now also boasts the ANCAP seal of approval, with the organisation finding that it works effectively. 

In a study conducted alongside the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Euro NCAP, ANCAP discovered that at low speeds, AEB results in 38 per cent fewer rear-end crashes in real world scenarios.

The study found that drivers and fleet managers need to back these systems to spread the benefits. The more cars that have it, the fewer accidents there will be. 

"Previous studies have predicted significant benefits from AEB technology in low-speed rear-end crashes and current research is now demonstrating its effectiveness," said ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke. 

"These findings strongly support ANCAP's push to have manufacturers fit AEB as standard across all new cars."

What other autonomous technologies are there?

Of course, with the drive for fully-fledged autonomous vehicles there is a number of other technologies available that offer more than just low-speed emergency braking. 

One variant of this, offered by Ford and Volvo and currently being developed by Toyota, is pedestrian detection. This behaves similarly to AEB, but can also focus on smaller objects approaching at different angles, such as pedestrians and cyclists. 

Ford's option provides a warning to the driver when it detects a potential collision. If the driver does not respond in time, the system takes over, engaging the brakes in an attempt to avoid impact.

It works through a combination of a windshield-mounted camera and a radar nestled in the bumper, ensuring that it's ready to intervene when needed. 

Another different option becoming standard throughout the automotive world is a warning system that keeps vehicles travelling in their lane. While some systems limit themselves to providing audio and visual warnings, Volvo's takes this a step further. 

The Swedish marque's Lane Keeping Assist technology has the ability to slowly guide vehicles back on track if it thinks they're at risk of leaving their lane.