The immediate next step change (happening right now) in vehicle safety technology is autonomous emergency braking (AEB). This uses laser, radar and/or camera systems to detect impending collisions and automatically brake if the driver does not react in time. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) used US police-reported crash data to shows that AEB reduced rear-end crashes by 40% on average (IIHS, 2016).
Although the data set is a bit old now, their study showed that if all vehicles had been equipped with AEB there would have been at least 700,000 fewer police-reported rear-end crashes in the US in 2013.
Video credit: TAC