Consumer Insights on Technology

Top Technologies for Mature Drivers: Consumer Insights

Technology is advancing quickly, requiring drivers of all ages to essentially change their routine and “re-learn” how to drive safely. New features may enhance safety, comfort and improve confidence for mature drivers behind the wheel.

As a follow up to The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence® and the MIT AgeLab’s study on Top Technologies for Mature Drivers: Expert Ranking, we asked drivers themselves to rank the Top Technologies for safety. We found that mature drivers rate Blind Spot Warning systems the highest saying this technology would make them feel most safe when they drive, according to the Top Technologies for Mature Drivers: Consumer Insights* survey.

Mature drivers who have at least one of the top 10 technologies also report feeling more confident as they drive than those who don’t have any of the technologies.

The research suggests that mature drivers value technology that assists with changing lanes and parking. This is encouraging, and consistent with our exercise research in which mature drivers identified turning their head to see blind spots as a challenging aspect of driving. It also supports the kinds of changes in flexibility and range of motion that can occur as adults age.

The survey of drivers age 50+ found that:

  • 51 percent said they would feel safer if their vehicle had all of the most up-to-date technologies. Interestingly, women were more likely than men report that having all 10 technologies would make them feel safer
  • 55 percent plan to buy or lease another vehicle in the next five years, suggesting that as more and more of these features are incorporated into new vehicles, a growing number of consumers 50+ could be driving cars with these technologies
  • Women (60%) are more likely than men (54%) to report that driving technologies would make them feel safer
  • 47 percent of those with new technologies go to their vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn to use the technology

Top Technologies for Mature Drivers: Consumer Ranking

  1. Blind spot warning systems: warns drivers of objects in blind spots, especially while changing lanes and parking, and helps those with limited range of motion
  2. Crash mitigation systems: detects when the vehicle may be in danger of a collision and can help to minimize injuries to passengers
  3. Emergency response systems: offers quick assistance to drivers in the case of a medical emergency or collision, often allowing emergency personnel to get to the scene more quickly
  4. Drowsy driver alerts: monitor the degree to which a driver may be inattentive while on the road and helps alert drivers to the driving task
  5. Reverse monitoring systems: warn of objects to the rear of the vehicle to help drivers judge distances and back up safely, and helps drivers with reduced flexibility
  6. Vehicle stability control: helps to automatically bring the vehicle back in the intended line of travel, particularly in situations where the driver underestimates the angle of a curve or experiences weather effects, and reduces the likelihood of a crash
  7. Lane departure warning: monitors the vehicle's position and warns the driver if the vehicle deviates outside the lane, helping drivers stay in their lane
  8. Smart headlights: adjust the range and intensity of light based on the distance of traffic and to reduce glare and improve night vision
  9. Voice activated systems: allow drivers to access features by voice command so they can keep focused on the road
  10. Assistive parking systems: enable vehicles to park on their own or indicates distance to objects, reducing driver stress, making parking easier, and increasing the places that a driver can park

Learning about vehicle technology is an important component of feeling empowered, confident and safe behind the wheel. For example, how do blind spot warning systems work? Blind spot warning systems warn drivers of objects in blind spots, especially while changing lanes and parking, and help those with limited range of motion.

Watch this video from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to learn more about how blind spot warning systems work:

Para conocer más

Watch more crash avoidance technology videos from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


* This recent study is a follow up to the Top Technologies for Mature Drivers: Experts Ranking research conducted in 2012. The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab worked with a panel of leading experts in driving, aging and technology to conduct an extensive study that involved the review of 25 new technologies and the identification of 10 features that can benefit mature drivers.

Vehicle Technology Education

Vehicle Tech Videos

Watch demos of 10 new vehicle technologies from the AARP Driving Resource Center based on research conducted by The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab.

AARP Smart DriverTEKSM Workshop

AARP Smart DriverTEK Workshop New car technology is changing the way we drive. It’s important to understand these new systems so you can stay safer on the road. AARP’s Smart DriverTEK workshop is a FREE 90-minute workshop developed jointly by AARP Driver Safety and The Hartford. During the workshop you’ll learn about new car technology, what intelligent features might already be in your current car and what to look for when buying, leasing or renting a new car.
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