Research in the US has found that automatic braking systems on cars reduced crashes by 39 per cent.

Consistent with the crash findings, the injury rate declined by 42 per cent for vehicles equipped with forward collision warning systems with auto-braking.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US used police-reported data on rear-end crashes and compared sets of vehicles. It studied the same model vehicle, one with automated braking and one without automated braking systems.

The study found that even in vehicles with only the forward collision warning system and not the autonomous braking functionality, rear-end crashes had reduced by 23 per cent.

This would indicate that the technologies are preventing crashes, and in instances where they are unable to prevent a crash, they are reducing vehicle speed and therefore lowering injury risk.

The researchers also did a separate analysis of Volvo’s City Safety system. The City Safety system is a low-speed auto-braking system, low speed being approximately 30km/h. The City Safety vehicles were compared with similar size and type vehicles that did not have front-crash prevention systems.

The rate of injuries from rear-end crashes was reduced by 47 per cent for City Safety vehicles.