3/28/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Driver-Assist Technologies Gain Traction in the U.K.

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More than half the new cars sold in the U.K. last year included some kind of driver-assist feature, according to a study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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More than half the new cars sold in the U.K. last year included some kind of driver-assist feature, according to a study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Based on data from Jato Dynamics, SMMT says 58% of 2015 vehicles were equipped with collision warning systems, while 39% had automatic emergency braking (AEB) capabilities and 36% had blind-spot monitoring systems. Nearly one-third (32%) of the new models had adaptive cruise control.

Collision warning was on only 7% of the new cars registered in the U.K. in 2010, SMMT says. The other features had even lower penetration rates.

The semi-autonomous safety systems were a mix of standard and optional features in 2015. Collision warning was standard on 31% of the new cars sold last year and chosen as an option on another 27%, SMMT notes. AEB also was nearly evenly divided, with a slightly higher 21% of buyers making it an option compared to 18% who purchased a vehicle in which it was included in the base price.

Blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control primarily were optional upgrades, which accounted for 32% and 26%, respectively, of their totals. These features were standard equipment in fewer than 6% of new vehicles sold in the U.K. last year.

A separate report commissioned by the SMMT last year found that the adoption of autonomous vehicle technologies could result in 25,000 fewer serious accidents and save 2,500 lives per year in the U.K. by 2030. The report forecasts the development and production of such systems could add 320,000 new jobs and provide a 51 billion ($73 billion) annual boost to the economy during this time frame.