Big utes neglect sensor braking, the new road safety hope
Failing to force new cars to have autonomous emergency braking is costing lives, according to the man reviewing the National Road Safety Strategy.
- 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|
|Hyundai i30||Not Available||On Higher Variants||5|
|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|
|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|
|Hyundai Kona||N/A – not in top 100||Optional||31|
|Subaru Impreza||Not Available||On Higher Variants||32|
|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|
|Toyota Hiace Van||Not Available||Not Available||58|
|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|
|Kia Sorento||Not Available||Standard||73|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|