Drivers Are Too Trusting of Partially Autonomous Vehicles Claims IIHS Report
【Summary】Even with low-level autonomous technology, the IIHS found that it only took one month for drivers to become comfortable with letting the system handle the majority of driving, even when it’s not supposed to be able to.
Despite what some automakers and companies may have you believe, fully autonomous vehicles are not on sale yet. There is no such thing as a fully self-driving car yet. Because of technology, regulations, and other things, cars that can actually drive themselves won't be on the market for a few decades.
Modern Safety Tech Creates Bad Drivers
Instead of doing the responsible thing of waiting and teaching consumers exactly what autonomous systems are capable of, automakers are all hastily working on coming out with partially autonomous systems that can be abused by consumers. According to research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) AgeLab, current driver-assist systems are creating complacent drivers.
To gather its data, the two organizations got two groups of 10 to drive two vehicles with modern driver-assist systems. The first group of 10 drove a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque that was equipped with adaptive cruise control and the other 10 drove a Volvo S90 with adaptive cruise control and the automaker's Pilot Assist system. Both groups of 10 drove their respective vehicles for a month while they were examined on how they drove the cars.
The vehicles are a good representation of what's available on the market today. The Evoque's adaptive cruise control system falls into the SAE International's scale of being a Level 1 system, as it can assist the driver in handling one task. Volvo's Pilot Assist is a Level 2 system, capable of handling two driver tasks. As the IIHS claims, Level 2 is the highest driver-assist system consumers can purchase in a production vehicle today.
More Safety Results In Riskier Driving
After a month of driving the vehicles, both groups of 10 became overly comfortable with the systems, regularly letting their focus slip and taking their hands off the steering wheel when the vehicles' driver-assist systems were engaged. Drivers, though, were more likely to take their hands off the wheel behind the S90 than the ones driving the Evoque.
"Drivers were more than twice as likely to show signs of disengagement after a month of using Pilot Assist compared with the beginning of the study," said Ian Reagan, IIHS Senior Research Scientist. "Compared with driving manually, they were more than 12 times as likely to take both hands off the wheel after they'd gotten used to how the lane centering worked."
Volvo's Pilot Assist isn't the only Level 2 semi-autonomous system on the market, there's Cadillac's Super Cruise, Mercedes-Benz's Intelligent Drive, and, of course, Tesla's Autopilot. The latter one is the most popular and it's been involved in quite a few fatal accidents. It's also made headlines because of owners and drivers that have been caught sleeping in the back of the car while it's speeding down the highway.
Finding a solution is always a difficult thing, but the IIHS believes that automakers need to come out with "more robust ways of ensuring the driver is looking at the road and ready to take the wheel when using Level 2 systems," said Reagan. With the current driver-assist systems on the road, a lot of drivers can get lulled into thinking that a system is more capable than it is or safer than an automaker claims it is.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV’s Range Takes a Hit Compared to Regular Bolt EV
Hyundai, Kia to Build EVs in US as Part of $7.4 Billion Investment
Electrify America Outlines Third $200 Million Investment in California
Arrival, Uber Partner to Come Out With Electric Ride-Hailing Car
Study Finds Range Is Now the Top Priority for EV Shoppers
Senators Introduce SAFE Act That Could Mandate Driver-Monitoring Systems
Ford Mustang Mach-E Helping Brand Reach New Buyers
Tesla Looking to Introduce Full Self-Driving Subscription Soon
- Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at the Company’s Self-driving Car Plans in New Interview
- Torc Robotics Select Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Manage the Data From its Fleet of Self-driving Trucks
- China’s Tesla Challenger Xpeng Opens Orders for the New P5 Sedan, the Company's Third EV
- Mercedes Benz Unveils the EQS Electric Sedan, the Flagship Model That Represents the Automaker’s Future
- Ford-backed Autonomous Driving Developer Argo AI Conducts Pilot to Study How Traffic Can Flow More Efficiently Using AI
- Tesla Crash in Texas Leaves 2 Dead, Investigators Determine That No One Was in the Driver’s Seat
- Volvo Owner Geely Plans to Launch a Premium Electric Brand to Compete with Tesla in China
- Every Tesla Failed to Uphold Its Estimated Range in Edmunds’ Testing
- Ride-Sharing Startup Revel is Launching a Transportation Service in New York City Using Only Company-owned Tesla Model Ys
- Volvo Cars Announces it Will Only Offer Fully-Electric Vehicles by 2030