Manufacturers urged to make safety standard  

Car manufacturers are increasingly fitting advanced safety technology as standard rather than offering them as optional add-ons, according to results issued by Euro NCAP, but more need to follow suit.

If rated the Alfa Romeo Giulia and SEAT Ateca top of the safety charts, with both achieving a five-star score in Euro NCAP tests as a result their portfolios of safety equipment.

Both feature sophisticated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems that operate in both lower speed and higher speed environments. AEB can reduce injury crashes by up to 45%. The two new cars are also equipped with Pedestrian Protection AEB technology, which is designed to further reduce the risk to vulnerable road users and became part of the Euro NCAP test procedure at the beginning of 2016.

Peter Shaw, chief executive of independent safety experts Thatcham Research, said, ‘Alfa Romeo and SEAT deserve praise for the high level of safety technology on these new cars and in particular for including advanced automatic braking as standard. It’s clear that manufacturers are increasingly responding to consumer calls for standard fit safety and simplifying the buying decision.’

SEAT’s first-ever SUV is also the first SEAT to have AEB as standard, while the new Giulia is the first Alfa Romeo to feature AEB and also has a range of complementary safety technologies, including Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning.

However, only 21% of new cars in the UK have AEB as standard with a further 27% offering it as an option.

Peter said, ‘Car makers that don’t offer AEB should follow the example set by vehicles achieving a five-star Euro NCAP rating and embrace this life-saving safety automatic braking technology. And where AEB is currently available as an option it could easily be made standard instead, having an immediate positive effect on road safety.’