Thatcham praises safety efforts

In a defining moment for safety campaigners, all 10 finalists in the Thatcham Research backed What Car? Safety Award have been praised for featuring pedestrian autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard.

Pedestrian AEB was only introduced for Euro NCAP testing from June 2016, with the aim of reducing the 400 pedestrian deaths which occur on British roads every year.

Thatcham Research, in partnership with What Car?, named the Toyota Prius the safest car of 2017. Toyota was praised for its unceasing commitment to safety, with many advanced driver assistance systems fitted to the Prius as standard.

Peter Shaw, chief executive at Thatcham Research said, ‘Cars are becoming safer every year and 2016 saw some big movement in active safety systems being brought into more mass market vehicles. All 10 vehicles considered by the judges featured Pedestrian AEB as standard. Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, Seat and Volkswagen therefore all deserve high praise for raising the bar in standardised safety. However, this year’s stand out winner is the Toyota Prius, which really went the extra mile in affordable, standard safety tech.’

The Prius scored highly in all areas of testing, impressing the judges with its class-leading reverse AEB system in particular. Pedestrian AEB, road sign assist, lane support and head-up display are also fitted as standard across all variants.

Matthew Avery, Director of Safety Research at Thatcham Research comments, ‘Reverse AEB is currently only available on around half a dozen cars worldwide and Toyota is the first to fit this class-leading technology as standard, along with a host of other transformative safety tech. Safety is ingrained in Toyota DNA; all models in recent years achieved a five-star Euro NCAP score. The Prius however goes one step further, achieving the highest overall Euro NCAP result of 2016.’