Poll: Some Drivers Still Write Down Directions


CHICAGO — New poll from global marketing research firm, Mintel reveals nearly one third of drivers write down directions compared to one quarter who use their phones to navigate.

More than half of U.S. drivers say using their cell phone while driving is distracting and public opinion reveals that there is a desire among drivers for alternatives to make communicating while in the car safer — such as steering wheel mounted controls.

“Those who haven’t shopped for a new car in the past 5 years may be surprised to find out that a technological coup has taken place on the vehicle dash. Gone are tactile controls and, in their stead, many automakers are now offering touchscreens with interactive controls that allow for much of the same functionality that one would find on a smartphone or tablet computer,” said Colin Bird, automotive analyst at Mintel. “These advances come at the right time as drivers are looking for ways to reduce the distracting nature of the mobile phone, while still having the convenience of their mobile devices, on hand.”

One-third Mintel respondents plan on purchasing a new car in the next one or two years, saying they are interested in touchscreen, Bluetooth audio streaming, telemetry systems, such as OnStar, and automatic steering, braking, and parking.

“However, there are skeptics out there who are worried all this technology might be too difficult to use or might just be something else in the car that needs repairs or replacement,” adds Colin Bird.

Respondents admit issues in automotive technology such as potential software bugs in infotainment or navigation, inability understand how to use some of the controls found in their vehicle’s audio/entertainment system, and believe multimedia/infotainment systems like MyFord Touch or Toyota Entune on modern vehicles are too complicated.