AAA study finds problems with driver assistance technology

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – From warnings that tell you when you’re drifting off the road to alerts that another car is in your blind spot, technology can make driving safer than it’s ever been -- but a new report from AAA is warning drivers about some of the latest safety features.

What’s called “active driving assistance” is designed to automate certain aspects of driving. However, AAA researchers warn that this system is far from 100% reliable. In fact, the auto club group is recommending against purchasing a car with active drive assistance.

A release from AAA reads: “Our advice is to look for a vehicle with adaptive cruise control but wait a few years until the technology improves before purchasing a vehicle with active driving assistance.”

Researchers tested five cars equipped with driving assistance. Through the course of 4,000 miles, the vehicles experienced an issue every 8 miles on average.

Researchers noted instances of:

  • Trouble keeping the vehicles in their lane and coming too close to other vehicles or guardrails
  • Systems often disengage with little notice -- almost instantly giving control back to the driver

The technology running the feature relies on in-vehicle cameras to determine lane position, but when lane markings are not clear or when the sun is providing too much glare, lane changes can happen suddenly.

AAA suggested manufacturers should do more simulations, closed-course testing and actual on-road evaluations prior to adding them to vehicles. Experts also said the systems need to perform more consistently to improve the driver experience and overall reliability and safety.

View the full report here.

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