Friday, June 18, 2021
News AAA Says Active Driver Aids More Active Interference Than Help

AAA Says Active Driver Aids More Active Interference Than Help

AAA study finds driver assistance systems causing an issue every 13 km

  • Average of one issue per 13 km on the road

  • Collisions in 66 percent of test-track stopped vehicle simulations


The American Automobile Association has taken a look at active driver aids and found that some of them can be more of an interference than a help. That’s after their research suggested an average of an issue every eight miles (13 km) in real-world use.

“AAA has repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently, especially in real-world scenarios,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Manufacturers need to work toward more dependable technology, including improving lane keeping assistance and providing more adequate alerts.”

The AAA tested active driving assistance systems, what it called SAE Level 2 systems, in real-world and closed-course conditions to see how the systems responded to common traffic situations. It found that 73 percent of errors involved lane departure and lane positioning systems in real-world conditions. In closed-course testing, the systems worked mostly as expected, except when dealing with a simulation of a disabled vehicle.

In that closed-course test, a collision occurred two-thirds of the time, with an average impact speed of 25 mph (40 km/h).

The commonly experienced on-road issues involved vehicles not staying in their lane, coming too close to other vehicles and guardrails, and the systems disengaging suddenly, without notice, which it called “a dangerous scenario.”

The systems tested included BMW’s Active Driving Assistant Professional, Cadillac Super Cruise, Ford CoPilot 360, Kia Highway Driving Assistant, and Subaru Eyesight. All were model year 2019 except for the Subaru, which was a 2020.

“With the number of issues we experienced in testing, it is unclear how these systems enhance the driving experience in their current form”, said Brannon. “In the long run, a bad experience with current technology may set back public acceptance of more fully automated vehicles in the future.” AAA said they found only 12 percent of drivers surveyed would trust a self-driving car. To increase confidence in these vehicles, AAA said, automakers need to have these systems as perfect as possible before wide stream adoption.

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