Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) hold the potential to transform road safety ahead of the arrival of fully automated or driverless vehicles. Yet, consumer and insurer awareness of their benefits, what systems are fitted to vehicles and the issues involved in ensuring repairs of those systems maintain optimum performance is, at best, patchy.
There is an expectation that around 40% of vehicles sold in Europe will be fitted with more than one ADAS feature by 2020 – less than two years away. This figure has been extrapolated from data from European New Car Assessment Programme, the independent crash test safety body which since 1997 has run the NCAP testing.
ADAS has the potential to force through another step change in road safety. Just one system – automated emergency braking – which was made mandatory by the European Union in November 2015 on all new heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes is estimated by UK insurers to have already reduced accidents involving HGVs by 15% and injuries by 18%.
Results like this should be pushing ADAS to the fore as a major consideration when it comes to buying new vehicles – domestic and commercial – and featuring prominently as a rating factor for insurers. Neither is happening.
Insurance Post, working in collaboration with National Windscreens, recently conducted a survey of the insurance market’s views on ADAS, its influence in setting premiums and approaches to the range of repair issues. This was the second survey and it shows that over the last twelve months since the last survey insurers’ knowledge and enthusiasm for ADAS has changed little: indeed, if anything, it has gone backwards.
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