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Sensors for reversing reassurance in demand

A new survey suggests that parking sensors are the most desirable piece of on-board tech for young drivers when looking for a new car

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Forget satnavs, infotainment systems or even a sunroof, a new optional extra has leapt to the top of the want-list for thousands of young drivers this year – the reverse sensor.

Many drivers hate the thought of reverse parking and many even go to great lengths to avoid backing into tight and tricky spaces. But, according to research by independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, young drivers are ready to kick parking problems into the kerb once and for all as they look for vehicles fitted with back-up sensor technology.

In a survey commissioned by the charity of more than 1,000 drivers aged 17-24, drivers were asked to rank a number of optional extras from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most important and 1 being the least important, when purchasing a new car. Parking sensors took top spot on their wish lists, with an average score of 7.5 while Android Auto was, perhaps surprisingly, the least important. 

The research also revealed that parking sensors are not the only form of technology that young drivers are looking for when buying a car. It found that Bluetooth connectivity (7.23), satellite navigation (7.19) and autonomous emergency braking (6.85) rank as the next most important technology features young drivers look for when car hunting.

Top 10 most desirable car features for young drivers (average score)
1Parking sensors7.55
3Satellite navigation7.19
4Autonomous emergency braking6.85
5Fast USB charging point                   6.63
6Heated seats6.20
7Lane departure warning6.13
8Apple CarPlay6.04
10Android Auto5.32
Source: IAM RoadSmart

“Having grown up in an age of mobile phones and social media, 17 to 24-year-olds have embraced how technology can make everyday decisions and activities easier, and clearly this is no different when it comes to keeping it between the lines or squeezing into tight spaces,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“Parking sensors also make Britain’s roads a safer place to be, as poorly parked or protruding vehicles can often obstruct the vision or restrict mobility of other road users.

“Technology will play a vital role in improving road safety in years to come, so it’s great to see that young people are looking for features which either directly or indirectly help with making Britain’s roads safer.”

But he warned: “Parking sensors don’t always work and still need the back up of looking all around, checking mirrors, signalling and expecting the unexpected.”

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Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.