While ADAS features continue to expand, they continue to confuse
CR has issued guidelines on how to increase customer satisfaction and use
Confusing advanced driver assistance systems can cause more problems than they help, says Consumer Reports. Confusion over what systems can and can’t do as well as what the in-car alerts are trying to tell the driver can lead to drivers turning the systems off, losing the safety and convenience benefits.
“Steering wheels have become cluttered with unrecognizable symbols to operate ADAS features, which drivers have to somehow distinguish and understand while they’re out on the road,” says Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing.
To help, CR has issued guidelines that automakers can use to help tune their systems, alerts, and controls. The consumer advocacy group used its own extensive survey data from users of the systems as well as its own data taken from extensive road testing of new vehicles.
ADAS features include lane keeping and lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking. Basically, anything that goes beyond simple cruise control and can help prevent a collision or make driving easier.
CR says that its members prefer their features to allow more customisation. Things like adjusting cruise control acceleration, how quickly a system intervenes, and the ability to select the type of warning. Consumer Reports says that it believes adding driver adjustability would lead to higher satisfaction and higher use rates.
It also suggests in-car explanations. This includes driver displays with more information about why a feature has been deactivated or what it does. Not knowing why a system is doing something pushes users to turn it off. Likewise, if they don’t know what a system should do, they’re less likely to use it.
The full report from Consumer Reports is available here.