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New Tech Can Reduce Driver Stress, MIT-Ford Study Contends

Countering concerns about driver distractions?

by on Nov.04, 2010

Relieving stress? A new study suggests onboard technology can help.

A new study prepared by Ford  Motor Co. and MIT indicates that new technology, such as automatic parallel parking systems, help relieve driver stress  and improve overall driver safety and well-being.

The study could be seen to counter growing concerns about the huge influx of digital technology into today’s cars, trucks and crossovers, an area that Ford where Ford has set out to be an industry leader.  Critics, including Ray LaHood, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, have not only taken aim at such clear concerns as in-car texting, but even some onboard safety systems that, they contend, could also pose distractions.

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The information collected during the research study suggests parallel parking is a highly avoided and stress-inducing situation for many drivers; use of advanced technology to simplify the process resulted  in a more than 12 beats per minute reduction in the heart rate of test subjects.