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IIHS: many unaware of limitations to driver assistance systems

Drivers in Oklahoma should be aware that the advanced driver assistance systems that are on the market do not mean that cars drive themselves. Unfortunately, many are not and overestimate the capabilities of ADAS. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a survey of more than 2,000 drivers to gauge their knowledge of ADAS.

It turns out that most of the respondents did not even know that five levels of automation exist. Level five means a car can drive itself under any conditions. Current ADAS, such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning, put a car at level two, which means drivers must remain actively engaged and alert to their surroundings.

The survey participants were asked what behaviors would be acceptable in a car equipped with five different driver assistance systems. They were not given the names of the automakers. The systems were Autopilot, Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise, Driver Assistant Plus and ProPilot Assist. Nearly half said that Autopilot would allow them to keep their hands off the steering wheel. Over 30% said it would also allow talking on a phone.

The name “Autopilot” is, of course, misleading. Despite the marketing ploys, evidence shows that self-driving cars are far from becoming a reality. Even the testing of self-driving cars has proven to be fatal.

Many car accidents have occurred because drivers assumed that ADAS allowed them to slacken their control over their vehicle. Such drivers are still held responsible for accidents. Victims, for their part, may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and determine the amount of compensation for which they might be eligible. Contributory negligence will lower any amount they receive. An attorney may strive for a reasonable settlement out of court, proceeding to litigation if the defendant’s insurance company refuses to pay out.