The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT Age Lab have been studying ways vehicle safety technology can help keep drivers 50 and older safe on the road. A study released in November asked 302 drivers 50 to 69 which technologies they would like to have in their vehicles, which they would be willing to purchase, and which they would use. The drivers were shown videos about the technologies and asked to answer questions and participate in small group discussions.
Mature drivers said the vehicle assistive technologies they would be most willing to use were blind spot warning systems, backup cameras, smart headlights, collision avoidance systems, and lane departure warnings. Ninety-six percent of respondents said they would be willing to buy a car with at least one of these technologies, and 10 percent were willing to pay extra for all of them.
Majorities of older drivers believe that backup cameras, blind spot warning systems, collision avoidance systems, lane departure warning systems, and smart headlights would improve safety for the driver. However, some worried that other technologies, such as parking assistance and adaptive cruise control, could make drivers rely too much on technology.
Driverless cars were also a popular idea among mature drivers. Seventy percent said they would test drive a self-driving car. When given the hypothetical choice between a self-driving car and a “regular” car that were the same price, 31 percent said they would buy the self-driving car, 39 percent would choose the “regular car,” and 31 percent said they didn’t know which they would prefer.