The car industry is ushering in semi-autonomous technology designed to reduce the likelihood of car accidents. This is in response to the alarmingly high number of traffic fatalities each year nationwide.
Many new cars are coming standard with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). This new technology has the capability to lessen human error to an extent. By using an array of sensors, ADAS can identify hazards in the road. Then, it can either alert drivers, automatically apply the brakes, or even correct steering.
While this technology has the potential to save lives, it's effectiveness has been the subject of scrutiny.
Is it safe to rely on ADAS technology?
How well can drivers rely on ADAS to mitigate the risk of a crash? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), ADAS systems designed to prevent a car from veering over the centerline or off the road don't work 100 percent of the time.
IIHS researchers compared the reliability of lane-centering systems with adaptive cruise control. They found a difference in reliability in five vehicle models manufactured from 2016-2019.
"Across all the vehicles we tested, the drivers had more faith in the automated systems' ability to maintain a steady speed and a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of them than their ability to keep them safely in the center of their lane," said IHS Senior Research Scientist Ian Reagan. "But how well they perceived the lane-centering technology to work had a bigger impact on how they rated the overall experience."
Researchers tested the ADAS systems at two IIHS office locations in Virginia. One was Arlington, which is urban, and the other Ruckersville, which is rural. The system's capabilities were tested in areas where they are most likely to fail, such as off-ramps and intersections. According to the study:
- Most test drivers agreed that adaptive cruise control was effective at adjusting speed and distance after detecting a moving vehicle ahead.
- ADAS systems were less effective at identifying lane markings and parked vehicles.
- Automated steering would activate when it wasn't needed, potentially steering drivers over the centerline or off the road
IIHS researchers concluded that automated steering complications were more common on state highways, secondary roads, and any other roadway with frequent curves, hills, intersections, and obstacles. They were less common on interstate highways.
There is no substitute for the task of driving
Drivers must understand that ADAS systems are not designed to replace the task of driving. These safety features only serve as a backup and can only be relied on to an extent. Exclusive reliance on ADAS technology can significantly increase the likelihood of a crash with another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist.
In the event that you are injured in a crash with another motorist who was inattentive or not engaged in the task of driving, it's important that you take legal action as soon as possible. The Oklahoma car accident attorneys at Lawter & Associates Attorneys at Law PLLC investigate all crash types and help injured motorists build strong legal claims.
We proudly serve Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.