Media release

AMA and ANCAP call for new technology to be standard features in Australian cars to save lives

Launch of ‘Avoid the crash, Avoid the trauma’ campaign

The AMA and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) have joined forces to lobby governments and car industry leaders to embrace new technology – starting with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – and make it standard in all new cars sold in Australia.

AEB is an advanced driver assistance technology that is proven to reduce the number and severity of vehicle crashes and associated trauma. AEB systems use camera and sensor technology to detect the speed and distance of objects in the vehicle’s path, and automatically brake if the driver does not respond.

Launching the ‘Avoid the crash, Avoid the trauma’ campaign at Parliament House in Canberra today, AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, called on politicians, the car industry, and all road users to join the push for adoption of new technologies such as AEB to make cars safer and save lives.

Professor Owler, a leading Sydney neurosurgeon and face of the successful NSW Government ‘Don’t Rush’ road safety campaign, said road trauma is avoidable.

“The key is making cars safer, and educating drivers about the risks of speeding and careless driving,” Professor Owler said.

“Too often, I see the horrific injuries and loss of life caused by road crashes when drivers get it wrong.

“Prevention is far better than the cure - if we avoid the crash, we avoid the trauma.

“Road safety and public health go hand in hand. Road trauma has an enormous impact on the lives of everyday Australians and our health system.

“We must do all we can to eliminate it, and governments have an important role to play, especially in working with the car industry to make cars safer, preferably by making life-saving technology like AEB standard features in all new cars.

“The safest cars should be in reach of all Australian drivers.

“Vehicle technologies such as AEB can help reduce road trauma at a much faster rate than we are seeing now.”

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Clarke, said that new cars available in Europe, Japan, and the United States are seeing AEB fitted as standard, while in Australia it is either a costly option or not offered.

Mr Clarke said that similar progress is being made overseas with large trucks.

“AEB is a technology that will reduce the number of deaths and injuries from road crashes,” Mr Clarke said.

“While the number of people killed on Australia's roads is declining, road crashes are still unnecessarily killing around 1200 people every year,” Mr Clarke said.

The AMA and ANCAP are calling on the Australian Government to help make AEB a reality in all new cars sold in Australia by:

  • redirecting car manufacturer subsidies into programs that will facilitate the faster introduction of AEB;
  • supporting a nationwide AEB consumer awareness program;
  • updating its fleet purchasing policy to include AEB;
  • appointing a dedicated Road Safety Minister; and
  • putting pressure on manufacturers to include AEB as a standard feature on all new cars.

Key facts:

  • 80,000 Australian lives have been saved due to improvements in road safety since the 1970s. Technologies like AEB could be as effective as seatbelts in saving lives.
  • AEB systems have shown to reduce rear-end crashes by more than 38%.
  • 90 per cent of crashes involve some form of human error. Automated technologies such as AEB assist by removing that human element, and as a result, reduce road crashes and associated trauma.
  • Road trauma costs the Australian community an estimated $27 billion per annum - $70 million per day (equivalent to the Defence budget).

A video explaining Autonomous Emergency Braking is available at

A video of a Don’t Rush campaign advertisement is available at

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is Australasia's leading independent vehicle safety advocate. ANCAP provides consumers with transparent advice and information on the level of occupant and pedestrian protection provided by different vehicle models in the most common types of crashes, as well as their ability - through technology - to avoid a crash.

Since 1993, ANCAP has published crash test results for over 500 passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia and New Zealand. Vehicles are awarded an ANCAP safety rating of between 1 to 5 stars indicating the level of safety they provide in the event of a crash. The more stars, the better the vehicle performed in ANCAP tests. To achieve the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating, a vehicle must achieve the highest standards in all tests and feature advanced safety assist technologies (SAT).


12 August 2015

Media Contacts:

AMA                   Odette Visser                      02 6270 5412 / 0427 209 753

ANCAP              Rhianne Robson                  02 6232 0206 / 0408 296 550

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