Mature drivers want safety tech/ADAS and to test drive self-driving cars

driversafetyinfographicThe average age of car buyers is around 52, however, the average age of luxury model car buyers is much older. It looks like the age of buyers of safety systems will also be older.The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab researched Car Technology Adoption Among Mature Drivers and learned that mature drivers consistently favor technologies that improve driving safety, while some think certain advancements make drivers too reliant on technology.

Drivers ages 50 to 69 are most willing to adopt reverse back-up cameras, blind-spot warning systems, smart headlights, lane departure warning systems and collision avoidance systems if they had them. Collision avoidance and blind spot warning systems were more likely to be perceived as worth having at any price than the other technologies in the study.

Ninety-six percent of mature drivers reported that they would be willing to buy a car with at least one of the seven auto technologies in the study; nearly 10 percent indicated that they would be willing to buy all seven of the technologies.

The study revealed that mature drivers believe the primary benefit of many vehicle technologies is to improve safety for the driver. Participants said that back-up cameras (78%), blind-spot warning systems (77%), collision avoidance systems (68%), lane departure warning systems (64%), and smart headlights (63%) were most connected to safety. Yet some mature drivers worried that other new technologies might make drivers too reliant on the technologies themselves, including parking assistance (42%) and adaptive cruise control (25%).

When it comes to self-driving cars, mature drivers express more interest in “test-driving” a driverless car than in purchasing one. Almost three-quarters (70%) of participants said they would test-drive a self-driving car, compared to only 31 percent who would purchase one, even it if was the same price as a “regular” car. If a self-driving car and a “regular” car were the same price, more participants would buy the “regular” car (39%) than the self-driving one (31%).

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., Director of the MIT AgeLab said,“These tech-savvy drivers feel more positively about vehicle technologies overall and are more likely to recommend that a family member or friend purchase a car with new technologies.”

In the study, participants viewed a video about seven vehicle technologies (blind-spot warning systems, reverse back-up cameras, smart headlights, collision avoidance systems, lane departure warnings, parking assistance and adaptive cruise control), as well as a video about a self-driving car, and responded to the videos via a perception analyzer tool.