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EC move could boost car safety

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A key decision by the European Commission (EC) will enable more vehicles to be equipped with radar-controlled braking systems which have been shown to reduce the number of car insurance claims.

The EC has announced it will extend the deadline for a proposed ban on the radar frequency at which such anti-collision systems currently operate to 2018.

The radar was to be banned in 2013 and manufacturers expected to develop technologies suited for a different bandwidth which was assigned six years ago.

But so far car makers have been unable to build systems that operate at the EC allocated frequency. Current Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technologies rely on radar, cameras or lasers.

According to a study by Thatcham, around 2,700 pedestrian casualties and 160,000 whiplash injuries could be prevented every year if all cars in the UK were fitted with AEBs.

Another study by the NHTSA showed that AEB-equipped Volvo XC60s were involved in fewer car insurance and injury claims than models without the safety system.

An EC spokesperson said: "The Commission has removed a potential barrier to fitting collision-avoidance radar into cars, and the car industry now has to take up the challenge to develop new systems."

© Press Association 2011