Starting last fall, eight carmakers worked with the Department of Transportation on a study assessing drivers' acceptance of accident-avoidance technologies. The initial six-month program in the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program put people on closed roads in cars that communicated wirelessly to issue warnings about lane changes, blind spots, forward collisions and other cars approaching intersections. Of the 688 participants, more than 90 percent wanted the tech in their cars, and that response rate covered just about all age ranges.

But perhaps the most remarkable finding about the study was that in spite of massive favor, none of the participants wanted to have to pay "more than $250" for the technologies. We don't know how the question was phrased, but when an iPod Touch costs $195, adding Ford Sync to a Fusion SE costs $395 and a trip to Disneyland for a family of four can bankrupt a small nation, we're slightly surprised that a suite of potentially lifesaving features isn't even worth considering for more than $250.

The study isn't over yet – the next phase involves 3,000 test cars trying out the features on open roads in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It will begin this fall and run into next year.


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  • 21 Comments
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mandatory driver vision, hearing retesting yearly and periodic (5years) driving test would be cheaper at scale and save far more lives.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd pay $250 for the blind spot monitoring system alone, if it's anything like Mazda's system. And in this case, $250 gets you crash avoidance, lane change and approaching vehicle warnings? What is $250 anyway? - average shopping trip at Costco for a family - five pairs of designer jeans (cheap designer jeans) - a spa appointment for your poodle - a whiff of the odor that permeates all Apple stores
      icerabbit
      • 2 Years Ago
      Really surprising that nobody wanted/wants to pay even $250 for it. New technology does not come cheap on a small scale. I'd very gladly pay well in excess of $250. As a matter of fact the vehicle that we're taking delivery of next week will have a few advanced monitoring / safety features with regards to blind spot monitoring and lane tracking. No driver is perfect and has 100% attention at all times. Especially with the lack of driver courtesy on the road - as in - many people passing in any lane they deem fit, jumping multiple lanes without signaling or looking, hanging in other people's blind spot without passing, ... it easy to overlook the fast and furious kid whipping around on the right 20mph above the speed limit, while you are legally passing via the left lane. All it takes is one instance for and advanced safety measure to keep you and your loved ones safer than you would be without it, for it to be "worth it". That doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome the price of these safety features to come down below $1000 and on a large standardized scale to only cost $500 or $250 per vehicle.
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ironic. People don't mind paying $1000 for a different color (I'm looking at you, BMW) but have a hard time paying more than $250 for crash avoidance! What has this narcissistic world come to?
      Soyntgo4it
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wish this was available in every car as standard equipment. The bitch that hit me the other day could have stopped without hitting..
      _I_I_II_I_I_
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rather than comparing the hypothetical test price with iPods and Disney, which are fair enough points, it would be great to look at the price versus insurance costs and the cost to an individual of having an accident.
      Edward
      • 2 Years Ago
      Recently, I was a passenger in a rented Chrysler minivan with magic mirrors. While trying to find the DVD player (hidden behind the nav screen), our driver wandered near a neighboring car. The mirrors saved his careless hide, and lots of time, points, and paperwork. I'm sold on some of this stuff, which is priced for profit. In 1990, CD players were a $750 option. Now they're in everything, and so cheap you can't even delete them. As a Miata driver, I have heard "I didn't see you" and "where did you come from?" enough to fill a CD. Sorry there are so many distracted idiots out there that they have to be protected from themselves. They're never going to disappear, so the result is the addons in the story.
      DaBean
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope that these systems can be turned off. I can actually see them being dangerous in certain situations: if you take your car to the track, the vehicle could react in a way that you don't anticipate and send you, and your expensive car, veering into the walls... That being said, I'm 100% in favor of these systems. They just need to, like everything else, have an 'off switch'
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's the same kind of issue with increased fuel economey. The vast majority of people want their cars to get higher MPG - and the vast majority will not be willing to pay for it.
        _I_I_II_I_I_
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        That's because the fuel savings from improved mileage isn't that much money. From a coldhearted financial perspective, for most folks the right decision is to stick with their old car, or buy the cheaper one that doesn't deliver quite the same mileage, etc. Of course, there should be more factors considered (environmental!) but we don't account for the cost of messing up the planet. So on a microeconomic level, considering dollars and cents only, increased fuel mileage does need to have a very low price.
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not "potentially lifesaving," it only helps keep distracted drivers on the road and encourages their lethal habits.
      ChrisH
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL, they would probably want the government to mandate it so it becomes free. How some people think really scares me.
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