This study conducted a real-world evaluation of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warnings (FCW) in light vehicles in Australia and New Zealand using police-reported crash data in Australia and New Zealand between 2013 and 2017 inclusive. The classification of sensitive crashes, those potentially mitigated by AEB and FWC, was based on five existing real-world evaluations of AEB and applied to crashes occurring in Australia and New Zealand. Sensitive crashes were classified as narrowly sensitive, broadly sensitive, intersection sensitive and pedestrian sensitive. Narrowly, broadly and intersection sensitive crashes involved car to vehicle incidents, with either a high degree of confidence of mitigation (narrow sensitivity) or where there was some evidence (broadly and intersection sensitive) that AEB and FCW would alleviate or mitigate the crash. Pedestrian sensitive crashes included car to pedestrian and car to bicycle collisions, unless otherwise stated. Of the crash data, 34% of property damage only (PDO) crashes were found to be narrowly sensitive to AEB. The addition of broad and pedestrian sensitivity increased this to 63%. When injuries from crashes were considered, up to 63% of injuries sustained in light vehicle-to-vehicle crashes (considering narrow, intersection and broad crashes combined) and up to 4% of injuries from car to pedestrian crashes were sensitive to mitigation by AEB. The fitment of AEB to light passenger vehicles has the potential to impact the outcome and to potentially avoid or mitigate up to 67% of the trauma incidents occurring in light vehicle crashes.

Analysis of police-reported crash data from Australia using induced exposure methods showed strongly significant estimates of relative risk reductions associated with light vehicle models where some variants are fitted with AEB. Reductions in the risk of trauma from narrowly sensitive crashes were estimated at 27% for fatal and serious injuries and 19% for minor injuries. If all light passenger vehicles in AEB narrowly, broadly and pedestrian sensitive crashes in Australia were models where some variants had AEB fitted, these estimates of injury reduction in sensitive crashes would translate to injury reductions across all crashes of: 8% for fatalities, 12% for serious injuries and 12% for minor injuries. The corresponding overall reduction estimated for all no-injury crashes is 21%. The value of Australian injuries in crashes potentially saved through AEB fitment to all light vehicles calculated using human capital-based crash cost estimates was $1.5 billion ($186 million, $2.6 billion).

The results highlight both the proven effectiveness and the significant potential of AEB technology in the reduction of trauma incidents as a result of light vehicle involved crashes.

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