Popular Vehicle Technology and Options

Today's drivers increasingly demand technology that keeps them safe, connected, and comfortable behind the wheel.
by Rich Ellis

Features and technology available on modern vehicles are a far cry from the limited “options" available on new cars just a few short decades ago. Back then, drivers could choose only from among a few features that they were willing to pay extra for – features today that are standard on almost every new vehicle – such as power windows, air conditioning, power steering, automatic transmission, and power door locks.  
In contrast, today’s vehicles offer a wide range of technology choices fueled by driver demand – some of which differ by generation – with the range of options expanding with each new model year. But even with the scope of new vehicle technologies available today, many of the most popular options can be broadly categorized into one of three categories when it comes to meeting drivers’ wants and needs. Here are some of the most popular vehicle technologies that drivers increasingly don’t want to live, or drive, without.


Fully autonomous vehicles’ promise is to one day make driving safer by eliminating the human factor and the inevitable driver error that accompanies it. That day hasn’t arrived, which may be a good thing because a large percentage of today’s drivers surveyed say they wouldn’t purchase an autonomous car because they don’t trust the technology yet. It is thought that humans’ decision-making behind the wheel is still superior to a computer’s. The vehicle technology that drivers do trust and want, however, increasingly revolves around safety. Some of the most popular vehicle technology features include:
  • Blind-spot detection systems
  • Backup collision intervention 
  • Side-mirror turn signals 
  • Lane departure warning
  • Drowsiness alert
  • Smart headlights 
  • Crash mitigation systems


Drivers increasingly want vehicle technology that enables them to be connected to information, communication, and entertainment on the road, and that desire goes up as the age of the driver polled goes down. In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of drivers under 45 responded that accessing apps and information from a vehicle was important to them, while only 25 percent of drivers over 45 had a similar response. A level of connectivity similar to what they are accustomed to accessing via their mobile phones are some of the most popular technology options:
  • Hands-free connectivity
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Voice-activated controls
  • Built-in navigation

Comfort and Convenience

While staying connected and safe behind the wheel are increasingly important to drivers, so too is the historically strong demand for comfort and convenience. Drivers spend countless hours behind the wheel annually, and they want that time to be as pleasurable as possible. That explains why features that make life easier for drivers are so popular including:
  • Push-button ignitions
  • Power front seats
  • Heated and leather seats
  • USB ports
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Active park assist
  • Windshield auto-fog prevention
  • Hidden storage compartments
“Must-have" vehicle technologies and features will undoubtedly continue to evolve with changing driver behaviors as new technology is introduced and as fully autonomous vehicles accounting for the majority of cars and trucks on the road becomes reality. 

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