New research by Bosch indicate that one in four newly registered cars has an automatic emergency braking system on board to prevent accidents and, if necessary, bring the vehicle to a stop in the event of an emergency.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is also proving popular among car buyers while parking assistance systems, ranging from simple sensors to park and steering assist, are now in every second newly registered car in Germany. Additionally, 16% of new cars monitor lane changes or independently stay in their lane, and 11% of new vehicles feature camera based road sign recognition.

Bosch board member Dirk Hoheisel said: “Driver assistance systems are gaining an increasing foothold in the market and are thereby paving the way for automated driving. The more familiar drivers are with driver assistance systems, the greater the acceptance of automated driving.”

Both in Germany and other European countries, automatic emergency braking systems are gaining ground. In 2015, 32% of newly registered cars in the Netherlands were equipped with this kind of braking assistance system. That figure was 30% in Belgium and 16% in Spain. In the UK 21% of all new cars sold provided emergency braking support.

One reason for the widespread popularity of automatic emergency braking systems is the Euro NCAP rating scheme. This kind of assistant is necessary to receive the highest rating of five stars in the consumer protection organisation’s vehicle tests.

Automatic emergency braking systems use a radar and/or video sensor to monitor the area in front of the vehicle. If an obstacle comes dangerously close to the vehicle in its own lane, it warns the driver. If he or she fails to react, it automatically performs an emergency braking manoeuvre. In Germany alone, according to Bosch accident research, up to 72% of all rear end collisions resulting in injury could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with an automatic emergency braking system.

From braking and steering to acceleration, driver assistance systems support drivers in confusing or critical traffic situations and intervene in a targeted manner if necessary. In doing so, they make road traffic safer and help drivers reach their destination with less stress and hassle.

The electronic assistants are based on sensors featuring radar, video, and ultrasonic technology that capture the vehicle’s surroundings.

Driver assistance systems are also the preliminary stage of automated driving which will allow cars to take over complete control on their journey from point A to point B in the future. Nearly 3,000 Bosch developers are already working on new driver assistance systems – and therefore also on automated driving and parking.

In 2015, 3.2m cars were newly registered in Germany. To conduct its evaluation of driver assistance systems, Bosch used data from the service provider IHS Markit Automotive and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority’s 2015 statistics for newly registered cars. On this basis, the most important vehicle models in each segment were identified. Using the lists of vehicle features, they were examined to determine what driver assistance systems were offered for individual models.

From just-auto‘s research database QUBE on active and passive safety systems: Although adaptive cruise control is mainly on premium vehicle models, the technology is not exclusive to the segment; driver assistance technologies are becoming increasingly common in the European mass-market C and D segments; while parking assistance systems are becoming increasingly popular, the market is still in its infancy.