ANCAP calls for advanced safety technology to become standard

The automotive world is one of rapid development, with manufacturers constantly finding new ways to improve their vehicles for fleet managers and their drivers. 

Safety is a big catalyst for these improvements, and with more than 1,000 Australians killed on the country's roads in 2014, according to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, there's still plenty that can change.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is tasked with ensuring new vehicles that join Australia's roads are up to standard. In conjunction with the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the organisation is seeking to encourage both manufacturers and consumers to prioritise new safety technologies.

What are the latest developments?

The pair recently launched their 'Avoid the crash, Avoid the trauma' campaign that urges Australian motorists to focus on crash prevention.

More than 1,000 people died on the country's roads last year. Can new technology help?

According to both organisations, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is key to preventing accidents throughout Australia. The effect of this technology is so great that the campaign is calling for manufacturers to make it standard equipment for new vehicles.

However, ANCAP and the AMA also acknowledge that drivers need to take responsibility for their own safe driving practices. Safety technology should augment driver behaviour, rather than replace it completely said Professor Brian Owler. 

"The key is making cars safer, and educating drivers about the risks of speeding and careless driving," he explained. 

"Prevention is far better than the cure - if we avoid the crash, we avoid the trauma."

AEB systems mean that vehicles can detect when an accident is likely to occur. If it then believes the driver is unlikely to react in time, it can engage the brakes, hopefully preventing or lessening an impact. 

Which cars come with AEB?

According to How Safe is Your Car, a resource presented by the Transport Accident Commission, most new cars currently available on the market at least provide AEB as an option.

While this is a start, it's not the guarantee that ANCAP and the AMA are looking for. After all, some buyers might not be aware it's something they can choose, or may be unwilling to pay extra for it. 

The comprehensive list reveals that Mercedes has the most complete proliferation of the technology through its current lineup. For all vehicles in the marque's stable that support it, AEB (for both high and low speeds) is standard. 

Volvo has also made this commitment. Given the Swedish manufacturer's legendary focus on safety, expect it to lead the way for future innovations moving forward.