An emergency braking system, which can prevent low-speed crashes, is now offered on the latest version of the Ford Fiesta.
Active City Stop uses a sophisticated light-detecting and ranging sensor to scan the road ahead 50 times every second - more than twice the speed of the movie industry standard frame rate - to help prevent collisions at speeds up to 10mph, and help reduce the severity of impacts at speeds below 20mph.
"Urban areas are breeding grounds for low-speed accidents caused by drivers failing to notice that the car in front has stopped," said Florian Schweter, new Fiesta Active City Stop development engineer, Ford of Europe.
"High traffic volumes, lots of potential distractions and slow-moving, stop-start traffic mean Active City Stop can provide a much-needed extra eye on the road."
First launched on new Ford Focus and ordered by nearly 5,000 UK customers to date, Active City Stop is already available on Ford C-Max, Grand C-Max and the new Ford B-Max. It received a Euro NCAP Advanced reward on Focus in 2011.
"Active City Stop is designed to offer additional security for Ford drivers and fellow road users," said Schweter.
"Automatic application of the brakes is a last-ditch response and the system is carefully designed to minimise the potential for inappropriate application. We hope our customers will never need this feature but we believe it gives city drivers in particular peace of mind to know it is there."
Active City Stop is offered as part of an optional Driver Assistance Pack on Fiesta. This pack also includes rear parking sensors and powerfold mirrors and is priced from £250. Ford is offering a 15% discount on insurance for its vehicles fitted with Active Safety Stop through Ford Insure, although only vehicles with the system fitted as standard gain a lower insurance group.