The responses to our survey included drivers who appreciated the stress relief of systems that automatically take over some acceleration and braking functions in traffic jams and those who credited their car’s advanced safety systems for saving them from getting into a serious crash.
These are among the other findings from our survey, which included owners of 2017-2022 model year vehicles:
• Blind spot warning (BSW) and systems that help with rear visibility are the most popular.
• Systems that add convenience—like adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane centering assist (LCA)—are also popular, especially among older drivers.
• Newer cars get higher satisfaction ratings, indicating that these systems are improving over time.
• Owners of luxury brands are less likely to say they understand how their ACC system works.
• Most respondents didn’t know much about driver monitoring systems but indicated some interest in them.
“There’s a race to put the latest and greatest tech onto vehicles, so we’re seeing a lot of different implementations across automakers,” says Kelly Funkhouser, manager for vehicle technology at CR. “Automakers are constantly adjusting the systems based on customer feedback as they become familiar with how they work, so the tech is constantly changing and improving.”
When it comes to how satisfied drivers are with these systems, there’s some variation among car brands. Honda and Acura are toward the bottom of many of our rankings, while many Stellantis brands—including Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram—are frequently near the top.