Automotive researchers with AAA have found that over the course of 4,000 miles of real-world driving, vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems experienced some type of issue every eight miles, on average. Researchers noted instances of trouble with systems keeping vehicles in their lanes and sometimes, coming too close to other vehicles or even guardrails.
What the Study Found
The study also noted that active driving assistance systems, those that combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering, often disengage with little notice. This instantly hands back control to the driver, but without any warning. This could potentially present a dangerous scenario, particularly if a driver has become distracted or has become too dependent on the system.
AAA is recommending that automakers increase the scope of testing for driver-assist systems and limit their rollout until the functionality is improved to provide a safer and more consistent driver experience.
Researchers say that the daily advancements and technological breakthroughs made by driver-assist systems are great. But, they are simply not developed enough for drivers to rely on them full time. At this point, there is simply no substitute for an attentive, alert and skilled driver to avoid car accidents. Based on AAA’s testing, on public roadways, nearly 73% of system errors involve cases of lane departure or erratic lane position. These systems were particularly challenged when they approached a disabled vehicle.
Need for More Testing
Driver-assist systems such as Autopilot have shown time and time again that when placed in real-life situations, they can sometimes fail. These are not yet foolproof systems. As auto defect lawyers, our biggest concern is that drivers become lulled into a false sense of security and don’t have the proper knowledge of what these driver-assist systems can or can’t do. This can be extremely dangerous.
It’s time that automakers put the safety of drivers and everyone on the roadway at the top of their list. Surveys and studies have repeatedly shown that a majority of Americans are not really comfortable with a fully automated vehicle that doesn’t give them the option to steer. These driverless vehicles should not be on our roadways until they are completely ready for primetime.