Are drivers making use of today's car technologies?

Any sensible fleet manager will be constantly looking for ways to improve the safety of their staff and streamline fleet operations, whether through vehicle maintenance or driver training.

And while we are now blessed with some of the most advanced navigation technologies such as GPS mapping, it appears many drivers are still relying on the tried and tested formula of writing down directions.

Mintel, an international market research agency, assessed the behaviours of drivers in the US and found that 31 per cent - almost a third - of people still carry a hard copy of their driving directions, either printed out or written down on paper.

This was largely down to respondents reporting they found the use of mobile phones while driving distracting, with 57 per cent saying they agreed with this sentiment.

However, Mintel Automotive Analyst Colin Bird said drivers were unaware of the many in-built navigation system new cars now offered.

"Those who haven't shopped for a new car in the past 5 years may be surprised to find out that a technological coup has taken place on the vehicle dash," he explained in a November 22 media release.

"Gone are tactile controls and, in their stead, many automakers are now offering touchscreens with interactive controls that allow for much of the same functionality that one would find on a smartphone or tablet computer."

Some fleet managers in Australia may already have invested in cars with such technologies to make the lives of their staff easier - but what are some of the other gadgets today's consumer would like to see in cars?

According to Mintel's survey, 42 per cent of those planning to buy a new car within the next 12 months said they would like it to feature a touchscreen, while 40 per cent had their eyes on Bluetooth audio streaming.

With a host of new auxiliary technologies set to aid drivers in their day-to-day jobs, fleet managers are spoilt for choice when it comes to high-tech cars.