Consumer research for older and disabled people

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In-car safety technologies

In-car safety technologies – can they help older drivers?

In-car safety technologies are becoming more important in helping people to drive safely. But what are they? And can they help older drivers?
Download the research reports here:
In-car safety technology - survey report, 2014 (PDF)
In-car safety technology - literature review & expert opinion, 2014 (PDF)
Rica calls for research into in-car safety systems and older drivers (press release, October 2014, Word document)

There are many technologies to help us make informed, safe choices when driving, and where we need a little more help they will take control and provide it. Some manufacturers say they will have fully autonomous (driverless or 'self-driving') cars by 2020.

We asked:

  • What are these technologies?
  • What do we know about their usability?
  • Who do they help the most?
  • What do older drivers have to say?  

Rica surveyed 471 older drivers, reviewed the latest research and collected industry expert opinion to answer these questions.


Word cloud image generated from replies to our survey on in-car technologies

We found that:

Older drivers we spoke to are:

  • not very aware of available technologies that might help safer driving in later life
  • interested in in-vehicle information systems
  • suspicious of fully autonomous technologies (except when used in an emergency)
    In-car safety technology - survey report , 2014

Written information about in-car technology:

So Rica hopes to see more research into older drivers and safety technology:
Press release: October 1st 2014: Rica calls for research into in-car safety systems and older drivers

To sum up, our research shows that in-car safety technologies are increasingly helpful in keeping drivers safe. But more usability research is needed to identify how these developments can be more easily used by older drivers.

Rica has more information for older drivers who are currently think about their driving - see the links at the bottom of the page.

Research reports

This research was funded by Motability and GEM Motoring Assist.

Last updated: July 2015


See also: Who can in-car technology help?Types of in-car safety technology | Driving safely for life