Drivers trust semi-autonomous tech too much, says IIHS

This is the observation made by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. She says drivers regularly abuse semi-autonomous driving systems. Hundreds of system users like the Super Cruise at GM. Tesla’s Autopilot and Nissan’s ProPilot were queried. Many users reported performing non-driving related tasks while using the system, and some were blocked due to driver inaction.

Should customers be better informed?

All the systems on the market right now are driving aids, nothing more. Elon Musk at Tesla makes people believe that the Autopilot system can do everything and conveys false information. We are still very far from autonomous vehicles. No system on the market at the moment, with the exception of Mercedes in Germany, has passed the level 2 autonomy stage and that includes Tesla. However, according to survey data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles have enough confidence in self-driving systems to perform non-driving activities, such as eating or texting. . Specifically, 53% of General Motors’ Super Cruise system users said they were willing to perform non-driving tasks, while 42% of Tesla’s Autopilot system users expressed a similar sentiment. Only 12% of Nissan ProPilot Assist users said they would be confident enough to take their attention away from driving.

You are the only master on board

This is a troubling finding, given that these systems are not good enough to replace a human driver and require constant monitoring. While the systems can help maintain speed, following distance and lane position on long highway trips, driver assistance systems have been proven not to be foolproof. In an effort to put more money in their pockets, car manufacturers are not properly informing customers of the limitations of this technology and dealership salespeople are unfamiliar with the technology they are selling. However, users of these systems still misunderstand the limits of the technology and have false ideas about the real capacity of semi-autonomous driving.

A different approach that explains the results

The technology itself also makes a big difference, according to the IIHS survey, with Super Cruise users most likely to engage in dangerous behavior when the system is activated. This is due to the system’s flexible attitude towards steering wheel monitoring, which allows Super Cruise users not to touch the steering wheel for long periods of time. Nissan requires the driver’s hands to stay on the wheel, but bad actors quickly found workarounds. About 40% of Super Cruise and Autopilot users said they had been locked out of the system. This means that these drivers repeatedly ignored system warnings and failed to watch the road. That said, almost all respondents consider the attention warnings and locking systems to be a positive attribute.

With information from Car and Driver

Benoit Charette

About the Author

Benoit Charette / Owner and editor Benoit Charette has been practicing automotive journalism for 30 years. He is the founder, owner and editor-in-chief of L’Annuel de l’automobile, which he has published since 2001. He hosted the RPM and RPM+ programs on V and the Legends of the road on Historia. On the radio since 1986, he hosts the program Ça tenu la route and participates for the second year in the program Passion Auto on RDS in addition to putting the official website of L’Annuel de l’automobile online on annualauto. that.

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