Driver distraction top concern for connected cars

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New research by RAC Business has revealed that over half of businesses are concerned that the introduction of connected cars to their fleet will lead to driver distraction as a result of in-car technology.

The survey highlighted employers' attitudes towards increasing connectivity in cars as 51% have concerns over drivers becoming distracted. This rose to 55% among small businesses (100 employees or less).

While Wi-Fi enabled vehicles are thought to bring the benefit of increased safety features, there are worries that access to the internet and email through inbuilt screens on the dashboard could result in increased driver distraction.

But there are other concerns over introducing connected cars to fleets. Over a third (35%) of firms cited worries about driver data being hacked, while nearly a fifth (18%) are concerned heightened autonomy could take too much responsibility away from the individual driver.

When asked what the expected benefits of connected car technology would be, 83% of respondents believe it will be used to diagnose engine faults. Increasing fuel efficiency and helping to reduce wear and tear also made the list, cited by 72% and 67%, respectively.

RAC telematics MD, Nick Walker, commented: "Connected vehicle technology represents an exciting new chapter in motoring but we feel businesses need to be clear about what it means for their vehicles, both in terms of safety and security, but also for vehicle management."

However, as Walker explains, there is still work to be done in terms of communicating exactly what connected car technology means for drivers and fleet managers.

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