IAG road tests autonomous braking technology for impact

In an industry first, IAG has tested the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems of finalists in Australia's most prestigious automotive award, Wheels Car of the Year 2017.

With IAG research[1] showing over 80 per cent of road collisions occur at low speeds, AEB safety technology can help prevent and mitigate the most common types of crashes. Using laser, radar or camera technology, or a combination of all three, an AEB system automatically applies brake pressure to potentially prevent a crash at low speeds (up to 60km/h).

IAG developed two test vehicles made from the rear end of a current model sedan and ute to replicate real vehicles in a trial environment. The test vehicles had been extensively assessed to ensure that they matched both the visual appearance and the radar signature of real cars. 

The award finalists were tested against both vehicles to determine whether the AEB technology could successfully avoid a collision or reduce the severity of a crash. While most of the AEB systems worked effectively against the sedan target, some failed to fully recognise the ute target which led to rear end contact. 

“Our participation in the Wheels Car of the Year Award 2017 helps to raise awareness of the important issues surrounding vehicle safety,” IAG Head of Research Robert McDonald said.

“AEB systems vary in the use of radar, camera and laser technology. While there was a variation in performance, all of the systems provide a worthwhile safety benefit,” 

“Our findings demonstrate the potential of AEB in reducing real-world crashes and we hope more vehicle manufacturers will include the technology as standard on all models.” 

Half of the 28 vehicles entered for the award had at least one model fitted with AEB technology. 

“We want to see these systems continually improve and operate in increasingly challenging environments for vehicles travelling at higher speeds and even while reversing,” said Mr McDonald.

The results of the AEB testing, along with the winner of the Car of the Year award will be announced on February 1 at the Australian Motoring Awards in Melbourne, and published in the next edition of Wheels Magazine. 

Since 2014, IAG has been testing AEB equipped vehicles as part of its insurance underwriting process. IAG also offers price discounts for a customer’s car insurance premium for vehicles fitted with AEB systems through NRMA Insurance. IAG is also a member of RCAR, the international association of insurance research centres, which has been developing the test regimes for AEB equipped vehicles.

[1] Based on IAG claims data from 2015.

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