New research finds modern car features overwhelming for drivers

Buttons panel of the car on the dashboard close up

The technical abilities of modern day cars is making thousands of motorists feel “overwhelmed” – with cruise control, assisted parking, and getting connected to Bluetooth among the most baffling features.

In a poll of 500 car owners of vehicles less than two years old, 68 per cent claimed they struggle to get to grips with everything. Features such as sports mode, electronic handbrakes, and autonomous emergency braking makes drivers feel a little uneasy.

The poll also discovered that 40 per cent don’t believe they are using their precious vehicle to its full potential, despite it being the most expensive tech purchase for 86 per cent of drivers.

More car features that bemuse drivers are sat-navs, voice activation, and reverse parking cameras.

Blind spot alert confused the 19 per cent of motorists polled, claiming that they’d never even heard of it, while 18 per cent don’t know about lane assist or digital key.

Over half (55 per cent) of drivers involved in the research admit it took six months for them to realise some of the features their car has.

Following the findings, Hyundai, which commissioned the research, has created a quiz to expose the potential of modern technology in cars in order to give drivers the knowledge they need to make their car-owning experience more pleasurable.

The research discovered that 48 per cent of motorists questioned would like to see new tech that helps with comfort, followed by 40 per cent wishing new tech would help with safety, 33 per cent entertainment, 31 per cent navigation and self-driving coming in at 23 per cent of those polled.

It was also revealed those under 40 are significantly more likely to want more comfort in their car, compared to older people – while 52 per cent of under-30s desire more in-car entertainment.

Dr Martha Newson, cognitive psychologist who facilitated the consumer study, said: “With any car purchase being one of life’s bigger spends, drivers should take more time understanding the tech available at their fingertips, so they don’t miss out on safer, more comfortable, and more pleasurable experiences, every time they get in the car.

“We’ve proven that over half of drivers are missing out on this experience, and that’s why we want to bring this issue to light.

“I’ve been working with Hyundai to create this quiz to help drivers gauge how tech savvy they are, and show them how to change their relationship with technology for a better overall driving and ownership experience.”

The study discovered that it took an average of three-and-a-half months before owners got used to their car’s technology – with more than one in ten (13 per cent) not realising it came with features like lane assist and cruise control.

When it comes to confidence using modern gadgets in the car, 31 per cent stated they didn’t feel comfortable using it, despite 73 per cent describing themselves as tech savvy.

Eight out of ten expressed they like having the option to use advanced tech in their car, as it makes life easier for 55 per cent, and leaves 39 per cent feeling safer.

And a third (34 per cent) of those polled, via, are so used to driving a modern car, they could never drive an older model again.

Ashley Andrew, president of Hyundai Motor UK, added: “It is interesting to see the divide between tech adoption in our wider lifestyle choices, and that in our vehicles.

“We want to empower all drivers to embrace the technology available to them, and seize the opportunity to engage with our innovative tech, for a more pleasurable experience.”

Top 20 pieces of technology in car that baffle modern car owners:

  1. Cruise control
  2. Assisted parking
  3. Connecting different Bluetooth devices
  4. Sports mode
  5. Lane assist
  6. Assisted braking
  7. Different switch locations for fog lights
  8. Wireless smartphone connectivity/charging
  9. Electronic handbrakes
  10. Sat-nav
  11. Heated steering wheel
  12. Climate control
  13. Voice activation/recognition
  14. Blind spot detection
  15. Remote engine starting
  16. Reverse parking camera
  17. Automatic boot
  18. Blind-spot alert
  19. Massage seats
  20. 360-degree camera

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