While the latest driver-assistance systems seem to be gaining popularity, few people understand the implications of these innovations. No one knows how safe these new technologies really are, and automakers have very different methods of reporting crashes. Tesla and BMW, for example, can wirelessly collect crash data to meet the DOT’s 24-hour reporting requirement. Toyota and Honda, on the other hand, do not. A spokesperson for American Honda says the system is based on unverified customer statements.
Driver-assistance systems allow you to relinquish control of your car, but some safety researchers question whether these systems are as safe as the manufacturers say. Even though carmakers warn drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road, decades of research show that humans struggle to focus when a machine is involved. The lane departure warning and auto-steering technologies have long provided a safety net for drivers, but newer systems leave them unprepared to assume control of the vehicle when the situation calls for it.
The NHTSA requires carmakers to report serious crashes involving Level 2 driver assistance systems. It is not clear how many crashes were involving Tesla’s Autopilot. However, other automakers have reported single-digit crashes. Tesla has complied with NHTSA’s requirements and has reported 273 crashes involving its Autopilot system. The other automakers reported fewer than ten crashes, and no one knows how safe the systems are. Until the government provides more comprehensive data, no one can really tell how safe new driver-assistance systems really are.
Tesla and other automakers are promoting Autopilot safety, and the company’s quarterly reports seem to back up this claim. But no one really knows how safe new driver-assistance systems really are, and no one is sure how the safety of Tesla’s Autopilot will fare against those of other automakers’ systems. The Virginia Transportation Research Council, an arm of the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research group funded by the insurance industry, have both concluded that older driver-assistance technologies have improved safety.
NHTSA, the agency responsible for overseeing safety regulations, does not yet know how many cars are equipped with automated driving systems. They do not yet know how safe these systems are, but the agency is planning monthly reports. While companies are already required to report crashes to the NHTSA, no one knows how safe these new driver-assistance systems are yet. The agency does not know how safe automated driving systems really are yet, but it’s a good start.
Lane centering assistance
There are many reasons to dissatisfy with new driver-assistance systems. For example, lane-keeping systems may cause annoying alerts for drivers. Yet, another reason is that consumers disobey safety systems, which could mean a reluctance to use fully automated vehicles. According to J.D. Power, who conducted a survey on the impact of driver-assistance systems, the high level of consumer dissatisfaction with these systems may be an early indication of a general reluctance to accept fully automated vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered carmakers to report serious crashes involving new Level 2 systems by June 2021. But the data reflects crashes from June 2021 through May 15 of this year. According to the agency, a driver-assistance system was involved in 392 crashes between June 2021 and May 15, 2018. Tesla reported 273 crashes, Honda 90, and Subaru ten, while other automakers reported only a few. However, the data is too broad to draw definitive conclusions.
Although carmakers are required by law to report serious crashes involving automated driving systems, NHTSA data are not sufficient to assess how safe these systems are. These numbers reflect crashes involving automated driver assistance systems between June 2021 and May 15 of this year. While Tesla reported 273 crashes involving its driver-assistance system, Honda reported 89 and Subaru reported 10. The remaining automakers reported single-digit crashes. Because the data is so broad, it is difficult to draw any conclusions.
There are several possible reasons why no one knows how safe these new driver-assistance systems really are. The first reason may be that new drivers are not fully aware of the functions of these systems. In addition, the driver may be too self-assured to learn how to operate the system effectively. In such a situation, the driver must be attentive to surrounding objects, and willing to take control if necessary.