AAA released its latest driver assistance study On Thursday, focusing on Level 2 technology. On SAE’s autonomous scoring scale (which ranges from 0 to 5), these are the most advanced systems on the market today, including Cadillac’s Super Cruise, Ford’s Co-Pilot 360, and modern highway driver assistance systems.
AAA is blunt in saying that these systems are far from 100% reliable when used by drivers. More than 4,000 miles, the study found that every eight miles had a problem with driver assistance technology. Most of the time, lane-keeping assistance is a problem. While automakers designed the technology to keep vehicles in their driveways, AAA found that many systems moved too close to other vehicles or guardrails during operation.
In public road tests, AAA found that 73 per cent of errors involved incorrect lane positions or unstable lane deviations, and there seemed to be no reason. To the satisfaction of the technology, it did exactly what was expected on the closed track. But we don’t drive on closed tracks. However, active driving assistance systems perform worst when facing simulated disabled vehicles on closed tracks. The group says the proportion of crashes is 66 per cent, with an average strike speed of 25 mph.
Another aspect of this technology failure is that most systems do not warn the driver before it is released. Most of the time, the system returns all control to the driver in an instant, and the AAA says it can be dangerous if the driver is not fully prepared at that moment. Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations, said after the test that active driving assistance systems were designed to assist drivers and help make roads safer, but in fact they were still in the early stages of development.