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Fleet management: Using autonomous emergency braking technology to reduce minor crashes

The majority of UK road collisions are caused at low speeds, typically less than 30mph. The severity of these small bumps and scraps is low and individual costs may not amount to much however, over time the implications can be much more noticeable for insurers and in turn fleet policyholders. Aside from the build up of small claims, the interruption caused by vehicles being repaired has an impact on business performance. Fleet managers will be keen to see the benefits that are offered by AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking).

Research conducted by Thatcham, the UK motor insurance research body, shows AEB works best at low speeds by either significantly reducing impact speed or avoiding the collision all together. Most car manufactures see the advantages of AEB being predominantly located in urban areas, this is reflected in the various names given to the system; Volvo’s City Safety or Ford’s Active City Stop.

Currently, only 2% of vehicles on UK roads have AEB systems installed but with 30% of new vehicles having some form of AEB system available, this number is always increasing.

Why invest in AEB?

For fleet managers AEB can represent huge leaps in risk reduction in turn saving both off road time and insurance premiums. It’s thought that if all vehicles in Britain had AEB it could result in a 25-40% drop in claims. Compare this to evidence already collected which points to a 15% drop in third party damage claims and a 26% drop in personal injury claims and it’s easy to see why insurers look on AEB favourably.

Vehicles with AEB fitted could be lowered by up to 5 insurance group places and equate to a premium saving of 10%. It’s not just insurers seeing the benefits of the system. New legislation will come into effect in November 2015 which will ensure any heavy goods vehicle (over the weight of 7.5 tonnes) will be required to have AEB.

How much would it cost for AEB?

Most car manufactures include their AEB systems in optional extra safety packages which can ultimately raise the price of the system. On average current prices rest at around £1,300, however simpler systems could cost as little as £180. Some car manufactures like Volvo do provide AEB as standard in their new vehicles. It may be worth investigating the costs of integrating AEB within a fleet against the potential savings to weigh up whether it’s a viable option for your company.


To learn more about Be Wiser Business’ fleet policies, please call us on 0333 999 0802 or visit our fleet insurance page.

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