Year-on-year improvements in vehicle technology are helping to improve the safety for Australians on national roads.
Speaking about road safety in the lead up to the Senate Road Safety Inquiry public hearings in Canberra on Friday, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said new cars made for the Australian market have a strong emphasis on safety and include some of the very latest safety, security and environmental technologies available anywhere in the world.
“Australian Government figures show that road deaths in Australia have declined over the past decade. The FCAI sees safer cars as a key element of this decrease, along with safer roads and safe driver behaviour,” Mr Weber said.
“We have one of the most competitive new car markets in the world. This competition is good for road safety, with manufacturers continually striving to introduce the very latest technologies into their vehicles.
“In particular, the development of connected cars has the potential to significantly improve road safety in Australia and reduce congestion on our roads to make the daily commute a safer and easier experience.
“To effectively introduce more connected vehicles into Australia, it is vital that governments and industry work together to ensure that the infrastructure and systems that support the vehicles are set up and maintained.
Mr Weber said recent advances in safety included forward collision warning, blind spot warning systems, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning systems and lane keeping assist systems. “These systems are available in many new vehicles today,” he said.
Mr Weber noted that in particular, the fitting of Autonomous Emergency Braking, known as AEB, was on the rise in Australia. Data from IHS Automotive shows that AEB fitting rates are at similar levels to those in Europe, with 29 per cent of new passenger cars fitted with AEB (up from 14 per cent in 2014) and 19 per cent of new SUVs fitted with AEB (up from 11 per cent in 2014).
“AEB is known to show a significant reduction in low speed rear-end crashes around the world and manufacturers selling vehicles in Australia are increasingly fitting this and other safety technology into the models they are bringing to the Australian market,” Mr Weber said.
The FCAI is pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the current Senate Road Safety Inquiry. A written submission has been submitted to the Inquiry and will be available shortly.
The FCAI continues to support the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020, which outlines broad directions for the future of Australian road safety.