Which vehicle safety features are most attractive to fleet managers?

Few concerns are as important as vehicle safety. While many fleet managers are encouraging efficient driving with green cars, new safety technologies are proving to be just as much of a draw card. 

The fact that the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) regularly revises its regulations as technology evolves means automotive manufacturers are continually pushed to integrate better safety equipment in to their new vehicles. 

According to ANCAP, people are taking notice of its work, with the organisation revealing around 81 per cent of new cars have five-star safety ratings.

81 per cent of new cars have five-star safety ratings.

So, which safety features are attracting drivers to these vehicles?

Fleet managers choose safety tech

Automotive research company AutoPacific investigated the specific features of new vehicles that are attractive to prospective buyers. While a portion of drivers opted for convenience and entertainment features such as heated seats and USB ports, safety technology also had an impact on their decisions. 

AutoPacific found that demand for safety technologies grew between 2014 and 2015 as various new systems gained exposure and came closer to being included as standard equipment

The most popular option, according to the firm, is active blind-spot detection, a technology that makes changing lanes much safer, as drivers no longer have to turn their heads to check whether adjacent paths are clear. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of drivers actively seek this technology when purchasing new vehicles. 

Drivers are also interested in collision warning systems with autonomous emergency braking systems, technology that is becoming increasingly prevalent in new cars. AutoPacific Vice President Dan Hall said many of these technologies are precursors to autonomous vehicles and indicate they are likely to garner consumer interest once they are released. 

"Driver assistance safety features are a stepping-stone to autonomous driving and have been well received by consumers," he said. 

"We're seeing that same dynamic with semi-autonomous driving features, but consumers aren't quite ready for fully autonomous driving."

US government backs emergency braking

As one of the biggest markets for new vehicles, the US is in a prime position to influence the global industry. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that, as of 2018, autonomous emergency braking will be necessary for vehicles to achieve 5-star safety ratings. 

Emergency braking could limit minor accidents. Emergency braking could limit minor accidents.

The announcement sets a notable standard for other manufacturers and safety regulators to meet, and is likely to change the way fleet managers approach safety

For more advice on getting the most out of your fleet, contact the team at Smartfleet.