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AAA: New-car tech has potential, but not perfect

Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 8:27:54 AM

If you are interested in auto financing and a new car, then you might have stopped by a dealership already. If so, then you have seen many vehicles with a wide range of technological features, from navigation systems to blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems.

These latter two features have recently been studied by AAA to gauge their effectiveness. The results found that new-vehicle technology has potential, but the features aren't perfect just yet. For example, blind-spot monitoring showed flaws when spotting faster vehicles. Motorcycles were also detected 26 percent later than other types of vehicles.

"With nearly three-quarters of 2014 vehicles offering blind-spot detection and 50 percent offering lane-departure warning as options, it's key that consumers are educated on how to get the best benefit from these systems," explained John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering. "AAA's tests found that these systems are a great asset to drivers, but there is a learning curve."

Even so, new vehicles are popular among today's buyers. According to AutoNation, new sales topped 27,000 for November, up 6 percent compared to the same time in 2013. Domestic vehicle sales climbed 8 percent, while imports ticked up 6 percent during that time period.