Thatcham Research has commented on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ decision to fit Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as standard on UK vans from 1 June 2017.

Peter Shaw, Chief Executive of Thatcham Research said: “Volkswagen is a trailblazer and should be applauded for being the first manufacturer to fit AEB as standard on all their vans in the UK. The truth is that we are seeing a year on year rise in deaths and serious injuries involving vans, which this technology can help to avoid.

“It is shocking that AEB, a proven lifesaving technology, has not been widely available to van owners or drivers until now. We call upon all vehicle manufacture to follow Volkswagen’s lead, and fit AEB as standard across all their light commercial vehicles as soon as possible.”

Thatcham Research explained that autonomous emergency braking not only has the potential to reduce the number and severity of collisions, it has also been proven to cut third party injury insurance claims by 45 per cent. For van drivers and fleet operators, this means lower costs as well as less downtime thanks to fewer crashes and therefore drivers and vans kept on the road – and working – for longer. In addition, vehicles fitted with autonomous emergency braking systems have an average insurance premium reduction of ten per cent compared to those which don’t.