Volkswagen will offer the system on Caddy, Transporter, and Crafter vans beginning June 1.

There’s no question that autonomous braking can step in when needed to help avoid a collision. Such systems are typically optional extras on vehicles, but Volkswagen is stepping up to be the first auto manufacturer to offer autonomous emergency braking as standard on its commercial vans. Beginning June 1, new orders for Caddy, Transporter, or Crafter van models will have the feature already installed without buyers needing to check an option box.

 

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“Producing safe, reliable vans has been at the heart of our brand for over 60 years, said Sarah Cox, Volkswagen’s head of marketing for commercial vehicles. “But technology is advancing at a pace and we’re continually seeing more and better ways to keep drivers safe on the road. We’re really proud to be the first to fit AEB as standard to all our vans. This means safer vehicles on our roads, leading to fewer accidents, lower costs for operators and potentially fewer lives lost: what could be more important?”

According to Volkswagen, studies have shown that autonomous emergency braking cuts third-party injury insurance claims by 45 percent. United Kingdom-based Thatcham Research credits such systems as being the most significant vehicle safety advancement since the seat belt, further suggesting that emergency braking could prevent 120,000 casualties in the next 10 years.

“It is shocking that AEB, a proven lifesaving technology, has not been widely available to van owners or drivers until now,” said Thatcham Research Chief Executive Peter Shaw. “We call upon all vehicle manufacturers to follow Volkswagen's lead, and fit AEB as standard across all their light commercial vehicles as soon as possible.”

For now at least, the standard issue braking system is relegated to commercial vehicles in markets outside the United States. Volkswagen’s line of commercial vans are not offered in North America.

Source: Volkswagen

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