Driver distraction tops connected car concerns for businesses

More than half of businesses are concerned about their company car drivers being distracted by in-car technology.

Although the increase in safety features on new vehicles is widely recognised, at the same time there are worries that access to the internet and email through infotainment systems may also lead to an increased level of driver distraction.

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Infotainment systems have taken on more importance and prominence

The results come via a survey conducted by RAC Business, based around highlighting employer attitudes toward growing connectivity in business vehicles. It found that 51% are concerned about their drivers being distracted, with this number rising for small businesses to 55%.

More than one in three firms also say they are worried about driver data being hacked following the introduction of connected cars to their fleet, and almost one-in-five are concerned that more autonomy through connected services will take too much responsibility away from the individual driver.

The research by RAC Business also investigated what UK firms expect in terms of the benefits of connected car technology. According to the research 83% think it will be used to diagnose engine faults, 72% believe connected technology will increase fuel efficiency and 67% think it will help to reduce wear and tear.

Renault infotainment system (8)

Renault’s infotainment system allows you to tweet

Commenting on the findings, RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “Clearly all these new technologies will complement each other in providing businesses with unprecedented levels of vehicle support. But at the moment, from what our research tells us, there is still work to do in terms of communicating exactly what connected technology means for drivers and fleet managers.

“While connected vehicles will benefit from being able to communicate with each other and with the environment around them to make driving safer, it may not necessarily be the case that it will deliver real insight on engine performance statistics and diagnostics. Fleet managers require consistent data from their fleet to be able to fully manage downtime and risk.”

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