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The car technology baffling drivers

In-car technology

Almost half of drivers struggle to get their heads around in-car tech, according to a new study.

Research revealed that despite technology in cars enabling us to find routes at the touch of a button, chat to friends and family hands-free and brake without touching a pedal, a large percentage are baffled by the amount of buttons and switches.

Many admit to being clueless about how to enable ‘sports mode’ or ‘cruise control,’ while others have trouble operating self-parking.

And over 50 per cent have no idea how to use ‘lane keep assist’, turn on ‘motorway speed alerts’ or even utilise ‘seat memory settings’.

The study of 1,000 motorists who have bought a new car in the last three years shows over half of London drivers felt they were wasting a lot of the technology their car had to offer.

Matt Wrigley of Jardine Motors Group, which carried out the study said: “Technology strongly influences our choice in a new car, even if we are not entirely sure how it assists our driving.

”Many of us are seduced by it at the point of sale, but forget to figure out how to use them in the excitement of driving away in our new motor.

“This is why, in addition to providing our customers with a full tour of their new car and its features, we also have a range of specialists on hand to answer our customers’ questions at any time.”

Percentage of new car owners who can’t use the following:

Self-parking – 61 per cent
Screens in the back seats – 58 per cent
Lane keep assist – 58 per cent
Seat memory settings – 57 per cent
Sports mode – 54 per cent
Adaptive cruise control – 51 per cent
Motorway speed alerts – 51 per cent
Automatic braking – 49 per cent
Phone functions operated via voice control – 48 per cent
Multi-media device connectivity – 46 per cent
Traffic information – 43 per cent
Cruise control – 42 per cent
Electric sunroof – 39 per cent
Climate control – 39 per cent
Reversing cameras / sensors – 38 per cent
Heated seats – 36 per cent
Automatic headlights – 33 per cent
Sat nav – 32 per cent
Bluetooth – 28 per cent
Automated windscreen wipers – 23 per cent
Digital radio – 15 per cent

Researchers discovered 32 per cent of new car owners are flummoxed about how to operate the in-car sat nav, whilst four in 10 are clueless about their reverse sensors, climate control and heated seats.

The study also revealed a significant number of motorists are not making the most of their multimedia settings, with 15 per cent unable to work their digital radio set up and 28 per cent having no idea how to operate their car’s Bluetooth.

More than half of those polled said their car is full of buttons and switches they don’t know how to use or what they’re for – and 49 per cent believe they are wasting a lot of what their car has to offer.

A further 58 per cent have frequently pressed the wrong button or selected the wrong function when trying to do something technical.

Rather than read the manual, it comes as no surprise that the nation’s motorists at some point or another enlist the help of their partner.

Four in 10 admit getting help from a spouse to adjust a headlight or set up the Bluetooth.

Shockingly, more than a third have never opened their owner’s manual to try and learn how to operate the car properly.

A further 36 per cent even revealed they have had to heed advice from their children on how to work the gadgets in their new car.

Of the motorists surveyed, 71 per cent of over 55s felt it only took them 0-6 months to get to grips with the main technical features in modern cars, while only 51 per cent of 18-24 year olds felt comfortable within the same timeframe.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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