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Driver assistance systems mistaken for self-driving cars

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that many drivers in Virginia and across the U.S. do not know the limitations of advanced driver assistance systems. Devices like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning are helping to prevent crashes, yet some drivers fail to realize that ADAS is meant to assist drivers: nothing more nor less.

By expecting too much from ADAS, drivers are becoming complacent behind the wheel. The IIHS had more than 2,000 drivers give their opinion as to what would be acceptable behavior when driving with these five ADAS engaged: Autopilot, Traffic Jam Assist, Super Cruise, Driving Assistant Plus and ProPilot Assist. Looking at the name “Autopilot,” nearly half of participants assumed that they could drive hands-free with such a program engaged.

In other words, there was little understanding that these ADAS only allow for level two automated driving. At level two, drivers are supposed to operate the vehicle like they normally do. Level five, where the car can drive itself under any condition, has yet to be attained. The testing of self-driving cars has, in fact, led to fatalities.

Researchers suggest that misleading advertising is partially to blame for drivers’ perspectives. Tesla’s Autopilot, for example, is a misnomer. And the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class was once inaccurately labeled “self-driving.”

Drivers are expected to keep control of their vehicles and be alert to their surroundings. They cannot blame technology if they are involved in motor vehicle accidents. Since they will be to blame, this can give innocent victims the chance to file a personal injury claim. If successful, they may be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, future lost income and other damages. To ensure the strongest case possible, though, victims may want to see a lawyer. It all begins with a case evaluation.