UK fleet drivers in slow lane for adopting eSafety technologies
Carried out to coincide with this year’s eSafety Challenge in Vienna, the eSafetyAware study was conducted across 10 European countries and investigated car users’ acceptance of eSafety Technologies, such as electronic stability control (ESC), blind spot monitoring, lane support systems, speed alert, warning and emergency braking systems and adaptive headlights.
The study conducted across Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK, revealed that:
• When purchasing a new vehicle, safety was the number one purchasing criteria followed closely by fuel consumption and running costs.
• Speed alert, ESC and advanced emergency braking systems were the best-known of the six eSafety technologies being promoted by the eSafety Challenge.
• Britain is last in a league table in terms of awareness of four of the six systems being promoted:
• Awareness levels of speed alert in Britain is just 45% compared with 80% in France.
• Awareness levels of ESC in Britain is just 41% compared with 89% in Germany.
• Awareness levels of adaptive headlights in Britain is just 41% compared with 76% in Germany.
• Awareness levels of lane support in Britain is just 27% compared with 71% in Germany.
• Awareness in Britain of the other two eSafety technologies – advanced emergency braking and blind spot monitoring – is 51% (Spain ranks the highest at 68%) and 28% (Germany and the Czech Republic rank equal first at 62%) respectively.
• Although half of survey respondents said they were willing to pay more for safety features, they expected manufacturers to fit them to vehicles.
Although the findings showed that awareness levels of eSafety-related systems on a European level have increased by 10% since a similar study two years ago, safety chiefs are concerned that the technology is not more widely accepted.
As a result, the Driving for Better Business campaign, which is managed by RoadSafe, says employers should ensure that new company vehicles are equipped with the technology.
Adrian Walsh, director of both the Driving for Better Business campaign and RoadSafe, which are both associate members of eSafetyAware, said: 'Safety features and specifically eSafety features such as ESC, are proven to save lives and reduce casualties, so it is vital that fleet managers operate cars and vans equipped with such technology.
'Crash reduction associated with eSafety technology also has significant spin-off benefits for organisations in terms of financial savings from fewer incidents and therefore reduced business disruption.
'We must do all we can to further increase awareness and take-up of the technology amongst both fleet managers and company car and van drivers as well as private new car buyers.'