A new study says that more than 1.5 million British new car buyers benefit from semi-autonomous safety technology including autonomous braking.
Safety and the nature of driving is changing and so are we. While self-driving cars are probably further away than the marketeers would like, more than 1.5 million UK motorists a year now own cars that feature self-activating safety systems.
New data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics says that more than half of new cars registered in 2015 were fitted with safety-enhancing collision warning systems, with other technologies such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring also surging in popularity.
While many, including this writer, would prefer to drive rather than be driven, they are becoming the minority. Features such as collision warning systems, were fitted to 58.1% of Britain’s record new car market in 2015, whether as standard or a cost option. In contrast, just five years ago collision warning featured on only 6.8% of new cars registered.
Autonomous emergency braking, which automatically applies the brakes to avoid or reduce the effects of an impact should the driver fail to react, was fitted to more than 1 million (39%) of all new cars registered – with 18% of buyers getting the safety tech as standard.
Blind spot monitoring was a feature of more than a third of new cars, while adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead, was fitted to almost a third (31.7%) of new cars registered, either as standard or an option. Just five years ago, less than 10% of new cars were available with this technology.
“Connected and autonomous cars will transform our society, vastly improving safety and reducing congestion and emissions, and will contribute billions to the economy. The UK is already earning a reputation as a global development hub in this field, thanks to significant industry and government investment, and the ability to trial these cars on the roads right now,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.