Cooley On Cars
Smarter Driver: Who needs self-driving cars the most?Studies show older drivers may be the ideal market for self-driving cars, but do they have any interest in the new tech? Cooley explains.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] Ever notice how car makers show you the future of autonomy by portraying young, hip urbanites driving such cars behind the now, not so necessary wheel. [BACKGROUND MUSIC] But that might not be the right approach maybe to get the most benefits out of autonomy. Job one should be selling it to the senior driver. A recent survey by the AAA Foundation found it all starts to go to hell behind the wheel right around Your mid-sixties. That's when your number of accidents per mile go up. Your number of injuries per mile go up. Fatalities per mile also go up. So it makes sense that maybe you push it to the older drivers first, before you start hawking it to the young, taste-maker, urbanites who like things like an espresso machine in the dash. But here's the problem. You can't sell autonomy to an audience that doesn't want it. Do the senior drivers care? MIT's Age Lab took a look at this. They surveyed over 3,000 car owners in 2016, including a third of them over the age of 65. Older drivers like the idea of a partial or fully self-driving car about as much as they like a surly teenager grandkid. They do lighten up, however, when you start to talk about driver assist. And anything less than driver assist, they're also not crazy about. So this is a Goldilocks story. [NOISE] So if older drivers are leery of self-driving cars, can we get them into rideshare as their skills begin to fade? Hell no. Ride sharing appeals to just 22% of people 65 to 74. And a real paltry 16% of those over 74. Compare that to 56% of 25 to 34s who like the idea of Uber and Lyft. None of this advanced driver sys tech is gonna make a difference, if the driver doesn't understand and use it. MIT found that most drivers say they learn the tech in their car by reading the manual, imagine that. Or just poking at the buttons until it does something. Ask those same people how they prefer to learn their car's tech, and the owner's manual is still number one But followed by having the car teach them, or, going on YouTube. And again cut that data for the older driver and they fall back pretty hard on the owner's manual. So you know what? That crappy, dusty tome needs to be done a little better. So bottom line if your folks are starting to get a little squirrely behind the wheel You need to be looking now at the advanced driver assist and they're on the market already. That's the good news. There's no waiting for some autonomous future. Automatic emergency braking, lane keep that's active, ditto for blind spot tech. That triumvirate can make a big difference and I'm pretty sure they're gonna be okay with it. [MUSIC] More realities of modern driving. Revealed now on CNETOnCars.com. Click on smarter driver.