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Increase in cars with automatic safety tech

Some 1.8 million new cars bought in 2016 offered at least one self-activating safety system either as standard or an optional extra, figures show.

Two-thirds (67%) of new cars are available with collision warning systems, new figures show.

Some 1.8 million new cars bought in 2016 offered at least one self-activating safety system either as standard or an optional extra, analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics shows.

This represents an 18% increase on the total from the previous year.

Autonomous emergency braking was available on 53% of new cars, while 42% of buyers could take advantage of overtaking sensors.

Adaptive cruise control, which allows the car to slow down and speed up automatically to keep a safe pace with the vehicle in front, was fitted as standard or an optional extra on 36% of models.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Safety is the number one priority for vehicle manufacturers and the pace of technological change is faster than ever before, with driver assistance technologies now available on the majority of cars.

“Fully autonomous cars may still be some way off, but millions of consumers are already enjoying the benefits of new technology which can only help make our roads safer.”

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