Crafter AEB testing Thatcham
New Crafter's autonomous emergency braking put through tests by Thatcham Research
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New VW Crafter safety advance

  • All Crafters fitted with latest autonomous braking systems since June
  • City Emergency Braking and Front Assist now standard on all Volkswagen vans
  • Thatcham Research brings insurance group drop
  • ‘Trailblazing’ move means fewer accidents and lower costs for operators

NEW Crafter insurance costs will drop, with ratings reduced by up to four groups, thanks to the standard fitment of advanced autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems on all models.

The cost-saving insurance change follows scrutiny by Thatcham Research, the motor insurers’ automotive research centre and respected experts in safety, security and crash repair, which undertakes independent crash testing of vehicles and applies vehicle risk data to insurance group ratings.

Volkswagen’s new Crafter was tested at the end of July and, as a result of the successful performance of its standard AEB systems at all speeds, saw a reduction in group ratings by up to four groups. This means the starting group for the Crafter range is now 34.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen became the first commercial vehicle brand to fit all its vans with AEB (Front Assist with City Emergency Braking), meaning all customers buying a new Caddy, Transporter or Crafter are guaranteed safety as standard.

According to Thatcham, AEB systems are “probably the most significant development in vehicle safety since the seat belt” and have the potential to save more than 1,000 lives and 120,000 casualties over the next ten years.

Thatcham Research chief executive Peter Shaw said: “Volkswagen is a trailblazer and should be applauded for being the first manufacturer to fit AEB as standard on all its vans in the UK. The truth is that we are seeing a year on year rise in deaths and serious injuries involving vans which this technology can help to avoid.”

Data released last week by the Department for Transport (DfT) shows the number of people killed on UK roads in 2016 (1,792) was the highest since 2011.

Not only does autonomous emergency braking have the potential to reduce the number and severity of accidents, it has also been proven to cut third party injury insurance claims by 45 per cent.

For van drivers and fleet operators, this means lower costs as well as less downtime thanks to fewer crashes and therefore drivers and vans kept on the road – and working – for longer.

Vehicles fitted with autonomous braking systems have an average insurance premium reduction of ten per cent compared to those which don’t.

Commenting on the Crafter’s new insurance group ratings, head of marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Sarah Cox, said: ‘When we took the decision earlier this year to give our customers safety as standard by fitting AEB to all our vans, we knew it was the right thing to do: it would keep drivers safe, vehicles on the road and reduce costs.

“Seeing the results of the Crafter test and the subsequent reduction in insurance group ratings reinforces our decision, and reassures customers looking for a van that choosing a Volkswagen is the responsible choice for their business.”



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