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Government urged to mandate use of AEB as fleets switch on to benefits of technology

That’s the finding of the BVRLA’s second Fleet Technology Survey, which have been revealed today by the organisation at its Fleet Technology Congress held at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove, Oxfordshire.

The research collated the views of more than 150 fleet managers, rental operators and leasing companies. While one third (34%) claimed to be early adopters of new vehicle technology, more than half (58%) said they wait until they can demonstrate a clear return on investment.

Road safety has emerged as a key theme. Autonomous driving and safety technologies were described as having one of the most positive impacts on the fleet industry, second only to ultra-low emission powertrains. Similarly, reduced accident rates were described as a key benefit of new technology, second only to reduced transport costs.

Looking forward to 2020, respondents said that Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and in-car video would be the most important safety technologies for fleets.

AEB is widely regarded as one of the most important safety innovations to have emerged in recent years and has been recognised by the motor insurance research organisation Thatcham as well as the euro NCAP safety performance assessment programme.

In the week after new Department for Transport figures were released showing that 2014 produced the first increase in road casualties for 18 years, the BVRLA is calling for the government to take a more active role in promoting this life-saving technology.

“Motor insurers and safety assessors have recognised the importance of AEB, as has the fleet industry,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

“It is now time for the government to take a lead by mandating the use of AEB-equipped cars across its own fleet and promoting wider uptake through the use of tax and other incentives.

“A progressive tax regime has helped the fleet sector achieve huge cuts in CO2 emissions. With the right support it could deliver similar reductions in the number of people killed or injured in road accidents.”   

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.