In Brief

Road accidents fall as driverless tech increases

Almost 70% of new cars sold feature autonomous safety systems

The growing range of autonomous safety features in new cars has helped drive down the number of road accidents in the UK by 10% over the past five years, new figures indicate.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 66.8% of all new cars sold are equipped with at least one driverless safety feature, which are either offered as standard or as an optional extra.

And almost six in ten new cars come equipped with parking assist technology, which uses a combination of cameras and sensors to help drivers manoeuvre into tight spaces, The Independent reports. 

More than 42% of new vehicles can be specced with overtaking sensors, and autonomous emergency breaking is available on 53%, says Auto Express.

According to the magazine, more than a million of the total 2.5 million new cars sold in 2017 featured collision warning systems, and at least 250,000 came with driverless braking.  

The rise in autonomous features is having a substantial impact on road safety, says Autocar, with the systems expected to save an estimated 2,500 lives by 2030. 

SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “Safety is the No. 1 priority for vehicle manufacturers and the pace of technological change is faster than ever before.”

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