Business

Auto Bits: Autopilot driving danger?

By More Content Now
Posted: Jul. 22, 2019 8:35 am

Driving on autopilot may be the future, but a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds driver assist systems send mixed messages and foster a sense of confusion. The public has a hard time understanding that driving with autopilot still requires full concentration, attention and, in the case of Tesla’s Autopilot, their hands on the wheel.
Defined as “a device for automatically steering ships, aircraft and spacecraft” and “the automatic control provided by such a device,” the word “autopilot” suggests to drivers that they can turn their thoughts and eyes off the road, the study found. Thousands of drivers were polled to gauge what they knew about Autopilot, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, Cadillac’s Super Cruise, BMW’s Driving Assistant Plus and Audi’s Traffic Jam Assist driver assist systems.
The driving public is split about 50-50 on whether it is safe to drive with a driving assist system in control without using any steering input. About 1 in 3 says that talking on a cellphone is safe while using Autopilot. About 17% consider texting safe while the car is in control, and more than 1 in 20 polled felt that watching a video or taking a nap would be safe.
The public’s confusion may stem in part from the many videos and social media clips showing drivers in Teslas not paying attention and without their hands on the wheel.
“Manufacturers should consider what message the names of their systems send to people,” said David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
— John Goreham, BestRide.com

Did you know
On July 22, 1894, the first major automobile race with prizes and a promoter was organized by the Le Petit Journal of Paris. First prize in the 78-mile reliability test between Paris and Rouen, France, was shared by two cars, which were both fitted with a Daimler two-cylinder V-engine.

Car stats
Technological advances have made cars safer, more reliable and more efficient, but JD Power’s annual satisfaction surveys find that many customers dislike how the infotainment technology works. The most annoying vehicle features include voice recognition technology that can’t interpret voice commands, overly sensitive navigation systems and voice pairing procedures, poorly designed gear selectors and hidden USB ports. These new car “features” are a fact of everyday life now, whether you like it or not.
— Craig Fitzgerald, BestRide.com

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