Driver assistants are not as reliableAugust 7, 2020
The insurance agency tested systems from BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Kia and Subaru and found that even with new technology, a situation arises that requires the driver’s full attention approximately every eight miles (13 km).
Driver assistance systems such as Lane Keeping Assist are becoming more common in new cars. Although features have gone mainstream, reliability has declined, according to a study published today by the American Automobile Association.
The systems in the five vehicles that AAA tested experienced, on average, one problem – for example, the driver’s need to act quickly to keep the car in the center of the lane – every 13 kilometers. A study concluded that the safety benefits of such systems were unreliable. Systems become especially dangerous when drivers overly rely on technology and fail to notice when systems are shutting down – which they often do without much notice, AAA notes.
Of all the errors that systems made when testing on the open road, 73 percent were associated with lane departure or unstable position in the lane.
“Manufacturers must work on more reliable technologies, including better lane keep assist and more adequate warnings,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry communications. “Active Driving Assistance systems are designed to help the driver and make the roads safer, but in fact, these systems are in early stages of development.”
The study tested five 2019 and 2020 vehicles equipped with the most advanced technologies every automaker has to offer, including the 2019 BMW X7 with Active Driving Assistant Professional, the 2019 Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise, the 2019 Ford Edge with Ford Co-Pilot360, 2020 Kia Telluride with Highway Driving Assist and 2020 Subaru Outback with EyeSight. All of these systems are considered Tier 2 autonomous systems, meaning that the driver is expected to stay informed while the system is in use.
According to the study, the Cadillac CT6 experienced the least number of problems over the roughly 1,290 km each vehicle traveled, followed by the BMW X7, Subaru Outback, Kia Telluride and Ford Edge. In the closed-circuit test site, vehicles experienced difficulty approaching the simulated vehicle, with collisions occurring in two thirds of the cases.
“We know that human factors account for 94 percent of all accidents, so we are focused on developing driver assistance technologies that can significantly improve safety,” said C / D Wade Newton, vice president of communications for the Automotive Innovation Alliance. “However, as we integrate these increasingly advanced driver assistance features into more vehicles, it is critical that drivers fully understand the capabilities and limitations of the system and their responsibilities.”
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