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Smart Car Tech Significantly Reduces Drivers’ Annual Fuel Costs

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Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have released the first study that evaluates the energy impact of in-vehicle smart tech. The study indicated that smart tech features save drivers $6.2 billion a year on fuel costs.

During the study, researchers evaluated the energy impact on lower levels of automation. They also focused on individual technology features that are currently used in vehicles or ones that automakers will introduce on new models in the next few years. The team gave a thorough review of the literature on the energy and safety impacts of automated car features. They also came up with specific data for predicting how these features affect fuel consumption, then analyzed the costs and advantages of each feature.

Researchers classified the tech into three categories: control systems, information systems, and warning systems. Adaptive cruise control, active braking, and collision detection braking are just three examples of control systems. Parking assistance and dynamic route guidance functions fall under the information systems bracket. Blind spot, forward collision, and lane departure alerts would fall under the warning systems category.

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The researchers found that drivers of low-level automated vehicles used 27 to 119 gallons less per year than vehicles without those technologies. This translates to a savings range of $60 to $266 per each car owner.

Reduced fuel costs aren’t the only benefit of smart tech in cars, however. Automated car technologies help reduce accidents and improve the aerodynamic efficiency of other vehicles. They also contribute to a smoother traffic flow, for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.

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News Source: EurekAlert!