Vehicle safety standards bodies Euro NCAP and Thatcham Research have issued a joint plea for van manufacturers to fit collision avoidance technology as standard after a number of vans were given ‘not recommended’ ratings following tests.
Out of 19 vans tested – representing 98% of new van sales in 2019 – the Renault Master, Nissan NV400, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Movano and Fiat Talento all emerged with the rating. Only Volkswagen’s Transporter, the Ford Transit, and the Mercedes-Benz Vito were awarded a ‘Gold’ rating. Five others were rate ‘Silver’ and six ‘Bronze’.
Thatcham Research said vans “are almost completely devoid” of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that have been proven to reduce accidents when fitted to cars, adding that only 12.8% of new vans were fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology as standard in 2019, compared with 62% of new cars.
“It’s a serious issue that needs addressing urgently, particularly with van numbers increasing and the continued surge in demand for home deliveries during the pandemic and before Christmas,” said Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research Director of Research. “There is a definite lack of parity between the levels of collision avoidance technology on vans compared with cars. Modern cars have lots as standard, but vans have barely any. Brands are making a clear decision not to fit this important technology as standard and van operators are not even buying it as a cost option.”
New General Safety Regulation (GSR) legislation will require all new vans to be fitted with certain ADAS technology by 2024 and it – along with Euro NCAP – called on van makers to fit the technology before then.
“We want to see more collision avoidance technology fitted as standard and readily available long before then. Decisive action will reduce van collisions, create parity between cars and vans, and help to protect the public from serious injury and death as more vehicles on our roads will have lifesaving technology,” Avery said.