Silverstone Fleet Show 2014: Fleets offered chance to try latest braking and safety systems
The initiative, demonstrated by the insurance industry-backed Thatcham Research Centre, alongside Bosch and RoadSafe, will focus on the very latest Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems, described as the most important primary safety technology that Thatcham has seen in recent years.
The AEB system works using technologies such as radar, lasers and optical sensors to identify other vehicles and, in many cases, pedestrians, and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not respond in time, to avoid or mitigate a collision, potentially saving countless lives, injuries and inconvenience.
As a result, Thatcham calculates that AEB reduces the occurrence of low speed accidents by around 20%, although it is also effective in mitigating the devastating effects of higher speed crashes.
Drivers choosing cars fitted with AEB can expect to see a cut in insurance premiums of around 10%, thanks to a reduction of up to four insurance groups, as insurers rate the system so highly.
And vehicle manufacturers are increasingly moving to the adoption of AEB as, from January this year, it now forms part of the Euro NCAP safety rating, and is required to satisfy the five star rating that most manufacturers covet.
A Thatcham spokesman said: ‘We are on a mission to prove the effectiveness of AEB in reducing accidents, cutting costs and slashing vehicle downtime, and at the Silverstone Show, fleet managers will be able to find out for themselves just how effective the system really is and which vehicles it is available on.’
Live demonstrations will be held on the infield Stowe circuit using a variety of vehicles and a "soft car" target, identical to that which Thatcham experts use when evaluating AEB systems on behalf of both UK insurers and Euro NCAP.
The Stowe circuit is also home to this year’s Allstar Card Services Eco-driving Hub, which will be the focus of a range of fuel and cost saving initiatives, where those manufacturers with strong low-CO2 sub-brands will demonstrate not only the fuel efficiency of their cars, but also how they can be driven in the most economical fashion.
At the same time, a team of eco-driving experts from corporate driver training specialists, IAM Drive & Survive, will be on hand to help fleet managers understand how they can achieve – or even exceed – the published fuel consumption figures for popular fleet cars.
The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit has been split in two this year, so that the National circuit can be used for high-speed laps, and the International Circuit for road speed drives. There is also an off-road circuit for those wishing to try one of the many 4x4s that will be on offer.
Jerry Ramsdale, organiser of the Fleet World Fleet Show event, said: ‘Our intention with this year’s Show is to provide fleet managers with as many good and valid reasons to attend the event as possible.
‘The AEB demonstration is one such example, and we are sure that fleet managers will want to see for themselves just how effective this new system can be in reducing accidents and cuttings costs and vehicle downtime.
‘For those fleet decision makers who want to find out more about the benefits of going green, we are using the Allstar Card Services Eco-driving Hub to help them understand the factors that affect the size of their fuel and tax bills, and all the ways of improving them.
‘And, as well as the professional eco-driving instructors from IAM Drive & Survive, we also hope to have a number of the fleet managers who have taken part in previous MPG Marathons to demonstrate that the skills they have developed are available to any fleet driver,’ he said.