Electronics company Bosch is coming up with a new way to cut car insurance premiums and reduce the number of accidents on the roads. The firm is developing powerful sensors that can scan the area around a vehicle and recognise potential dangers posed by detected objects.

Research shows lack of anticipation is responsible for two-thirds of front-end crashes and half of accidents at junctions. None of these would happen if the driver could react a second earlier. A spokesman for Bosch said: “The new vehicle system will recommend or even perform manoeuvres a vital split second earlier than even the most skilled driver.”

Initially, Bosch will create a “virtual safety belt” around the vehicle, using short- and long-range radar sensors, performing functions such as looking out for obstacles when performing manoeuvres in tight spaces, checking for lane positioning and monitoring drivers' blind spots. These systems may trigger an audible beep transmitted through the car's stereo, flash the lights on the dash panel, or might even suggest a manoeuvre, with a vibration of the steering wheel.

The next stage will be video sensors combined with picture processing, enabling the vehicle to interpret sensed objects and notify the driver via a screen within the dashboard.