VOLVO always said that its City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) would save customers money – and now, it seems, there’s proof.
According to data from Volvo Car Insurance, cars fitted with the system, which automatically brakes a car to avoid or reduce the force of a collision if the driver does not act to avoid an accident, drop by up to four insurance groups.
Real-world experience is already backing up Thatcham’s testing.
Middlesex-based chauffeur company Tristar Worldwide has been switching much of its 500-strong fleet to Volvos fitted with City Safety AEB since 2011 and reports first-year repair costs have been more than halved to just under £270,000, with third-party insurance costs falling 71 per cent, producing a saving of £260,000.
That feeds through into significantly lower premiums, especially on larger cars. The Volvo XC60 R-Design Lux Nav D5, for example, drops from 35E to 31E, which Volvo says could mean savings in insurance costs of up to £161.81 per year.
The changes to insurance groupings flow from research and testing by the industry’s test facility at Thatcham.
According to Thatcham Group Rating Manager Howard Barron “Our Crash & Safety team has conducted rigorous AEB testing on all new Volvos fitted with their City Safety AEB technology, in line with our insurer ratified AEB testing protocol.
“As a result of the successful testing we have been able to recommend to the ABI’s Group Rating panel an adjustment to these Volvo models’ insurance grouping”.
There’s backing for AEB from the European Commission as well, which reckons the technology could reduce accidents by 27 per cent annually, saving a potential 8000 lives per year, with scope to reduce insurance claims by £6.3 billion.
City Safety AEB is now fitted to all Volvo models except the XC90 SUV which will be replaced next year. All Volvo V40s have had the technology since launch.