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Older Drivers Approve New Tech If It Improves Safety

Forbes -- Automakers are introducing new, high-tech features considerably faster than many drivers can learn how to use them or even fully understand what they do, according to a couple of recent studies.

But even older consumers see the value in some of the newer features, especially blind-spot warning systems and back-up cameras, according to research from The Hartford insurance company and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab.

Nearly all of the respondents in a Hartford/MIT study of drivers ages 50 to 69 said they would be willing to buy a car with at least one of the seven auto technologies in the study: back-up cameras, blind-spot warning systems, collision avoidance systems, lane departure warning systems, smart headlights, parking assistance and adaptive cruise control.

That list is in order of preference, in terms of being linked to safety. Back-up cameras, blind-spot warning systems and collision avoidance were the highest rated.

Collision avoidance systems can bring a car to a complete halt if sensors detect the distance to the car ahead is shrinking too fast, and if the driver either ignores a warning alarm or doesn’t brake hard enough. “Smart” headlights turn the beams in tandem with the steering wheel.

Parking assistance, used in parallel parking only, measures the size of a parking place and moves the steering wheel to direct the car into a space. The driver has to apply the brake and shift when needed.

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