Australia

Big utes neglect sensor braking, the new road safety hope

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Related Story: Find out which MP recorded the most traffic infringements in a taxpayer-funded car

Failing to force new cars to have autonomous emergency braking is costing lives, according to the man reviewing the National Road Safety Strategy.

Key points:

  • Independent review of National Road Safety Review to recommend autonomous emergency braking (AEB) be mandatory
  • National road safety action plan endorsed by government notes international AEB standards are still being developed
  • Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton are popular vehicles without AEB

The independent review, due for release within weeks, will demand autonomous emergency braking (AEB) be made compulsory in all new vehicles.

AEB technology engages a car's brakes when it detects a hazard, tackling the problem of distracted or neglectful drivers.

Dr John Crozier from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, one of the authors of the independent review, said there is at least a 30 per cent reduction in rear-end collisions with vehicles fitted with AEB.

"It reduces the problem a distracted driver might cause with currently preventable death and serious injury, at even low speed impact, particularly for pedestrians or other vulnerable road users," he said.

A plan endorsed in May by federal and state government transport ministers included a goal to mandate AEB, but the goal is subject to the development of international standards and possible regulatory impacts.

A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack noted standards were still being developed and were designed to provide consumers "with access to the safest vehicles from the global market at the lowest possible cost".

He said the Government has supported the introduction of AEB in other ways, "including by providing funding for an international study into its effectiveness and promotion through the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)," he said.

Dr Crozier said mandating AEB was a "significant element" of the review, and said there were already vehicles coming out of Europe and Asia with a full suite of safety features, including AEB, at "acceptably low prices".

He highlighted the urgency of mandating the technology, citing a "missed opportunity" in recent years.

"There have been hundreds of deaths and arguably thousands of serious injuries that have occurred in the absence of (AEB)," he said.

In the year to April there were 1,253 road deaths in Australia, a 2.5 per cent increase compared to the preceding year.

Utes slow to adopt

The call for this technology to be made compulsory coincides with new research from ANCAP highlighting the most popular car models in Australia that still do not offer AEB.

Pickup-style utes such as the Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton are prominent examples of new vehicles that still do not offer AEB.

However many models have introduced AEB in recent years. As of March, more cars among Australia's top 100 models came with AEB as standard than those that did not have it available.

AEB was standard in just 3 per cent of sales of the top 100 cars in December 2015 — it is now at 31 per cent. Another 29 per cent of models sold in March have AEB as an optional extra or had it available on more expensive variants.

Just 29 per cent of these popular cars had no form of AEB available.

James Goodwin, ANCAP chief executive, said the growth was "encouraging" for consumers.

"We've moved some way closer to achieving a reduction in crash incidence and severity — but there is still a long way to go," he said.

What cars have AEB?

Note: Some models such as the Ford Ranger have introduced AEB since March, when this analysis was carried out by ANCAP.

Car Bought December 2015 Bought March 2018 Sales rank March 2018
Ford Ranger 4×4 Not Available Not Available 1
Toyota Hilux 4×4 Not Available Not Available 2
Toyota Corolla Not Available Optional 3
Mazda 3 Optional Standard 4
Hyundai i30 Not Available On Higher Variants 5
Mazda CX-5 Optional Standard 6
Nissan X-Trail Not Available Standard 7
Mitsubishi Triton 4×4 Not Available Not Available 8
Toyota RAV4 Not Available Standard 9
Volkswagen Golf On Higher Variants Standard 10
Hyundai Tucson N/A – not in top 100 On Higher Variants 11
Kia Cerato Not Available Not Available 12
Honda CR-V On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 13
Mazda CX-3 Optional Standard 14
Hyundai Accent Not Available Not Available 15
Toyota Prado On Higher Variants Optional 16
Honda Civic Not Available On Higher Variants 17
Mitsubishi ASX Not Available Optional 18
Nissan Navara 4×4 Not Available Not Available 19
Mitsubishi Outlander On Higher Variants Optional 20
Subaru XV Not Available On Higher Variants 21
Toyota Camry N/A – not in top 100 Standard 22
Toyota Kluger On Higher Variants Standard 23
Holden Colorado 4×4 Not Available Not Available 24
Kia Sportage Not Available On Higher Variants 25
Nissan Qashqai Not Available Standard 26
Toyota Landcruiser Wagon On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 27
Honda HR-V On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 28
Toyota Hilux 4×2 Not Available Not Available 29
Mazda 2 Optional Standard 30
Hyundai Kona N/A – not in top 100 Optional 31
Subaru Impreza Not Available On Higher Variants 32
Subaru Outback Standard Standard 33
Isuzu Ute D-Max 4×4 Not Available Not Available 34
Holden Astra N/A – not in top 100 Optional 35
Subaru Forester On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 36
Holden Commodore Not Available Standard 37
Volkswagen Tiguan Not Available Standard 38
Toyota Yaris Not Available Optional 39
Mazda CX-9 Not Available Standard 40
Honda Jazz Not Available Not Available 41
Mazda BT-50 4×4 Not Available Not Available 42
Toyota Landcruiser Cab Chassis Not Available Not Available 43
Suzuki Swift Not Available On Higher Variants 44
Toyota C-HR N/A – not in top 100 Standard 45
Isuzu Ute MU-X Not Available Not Available 46
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport N/A – not in top 100 On Higher Variants 47
Mitsubishi Lancer Not Available Not Available 48
Volkswagen Amarok 4×4 Not Available Not Available 49
Hyundai Santa Fe On Higher Variants Standard 50
Kia Rio Not Available Not Available 51
Holden Captiva N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 52
Ford Mustang N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 53
Volkswagen Polo On Higher Variants Standard 54
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross N/A – not in top 100 Standard 55
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Standard Standard 56
Mercedes-Benz A-Class Optional Standard 57
Toyota Hiace Van Not Available Not Available 58
BMW X3 Optional Standard 59
Suzuki Vitara N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 60
Kia Carnival Not Available On Higher Variants 61
Holden Trax Not Available Not Available 62
Ford Focus On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 63
Ford Ranger 4×2 Not Available Not Available 64
Ford Everest N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 65
Ford Escape N/A – not in top 100 On Higher Variants 66
Mazda BT-50 4×2 Not Available Not Available 67
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class N/A – not in top 100 Standard 68
Isuzu Ute D-Max 4×2 Not Available Not Available 69
Kia Picanto N/A – not in top 100 Standard 70
Audi Q5 Optional Standard 71
Audi A3 Optional Standard 72
Kia Sorento Not Available Standard 73
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Optional Standard 74
Hyundai iLOAD Not Available Not Available 75
Holden Equinox N/A – not in top 100 On Higher Variants 76
Hyundai Elantra Not Available Not Available 77
Nissan Pathfinder Not Available On Higher Variants 78
Jeep Grand Cherokee On Higher Variants On Higher Variants 79
Lexus NX On Higher Variants Standard 80
Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Standard Standard 81
Holden Barina Not Available Not Available 82
BMW X1 N/A – not in top 100 Standard 83
Mitsubishi Pajero Not Available Not Available 84
Land Rover Discovery Sport N/A – not in top 100 Standard 85
Nissan Navara 4×2 N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 86
Mitsubishi Triton 4×2 Not Available Not Available 87
Mazda 6 Optional Standard 88
Toyota Fortuner N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 89
BMW 3 Series Standard Standard 90
Renault Koleos N/A – not in top 100 Optional 91
Toyota Hiace Bus N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 92
Porsche Macan N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 93
BMW X5 Standard Standard 94
Land Rover Range Rover Sport Optional Standard 95
BMW 1 Series N/A – not in top 100 Optional 96
Audi Q2 N/A – not in top 100 Standard 97
Subaru WRX Not Available On Higher Variants 98
Holden Trailblazer N/A – not in top 100 Not Available 99
Audi Q7 N/A – not in top 100 Standard 100

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