Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has claimed it is the first LCV manufacturer to fit its vans with autonomous emergency braking as standard.

From 1 June, anyone ordering a Caddy, Transporter or Crafter “will be guaranteed safety as standard”, the brand said.

Volkswagen claimed AEB could reduce third-party insurance claims by up to 45%, and added that vehicles fitted with the technology have an average insurance premium reduction of 10% compared with those that don’t.

“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?” said Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Road safety research company Thatcham Research welcomed the move by Volkswagen: “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,” said Peter Shaw, chief executive of Thatcham. “It is shocking that AEB, a proven lifesaving technology, has not been widely available to van owners or drivers until now. 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.”