Many people believe that driver assistance features make a car completely autonomous.

facepalm: Even though car manufacturers repeatedly remind customers that “driver assistance system” does not mean that the car is capable of full control of the car, many owners treat them that way. Trusting Tesla’s Autopilot-like Autopilot too much can be dangerous, especially as users often perform activities such as eating or texting when they’re activated.

Findings from study The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit organization funded by auto insurance companies dedicated to reducing vehicle-related deaths and injuries.

An IIHS survey of 600 active users found that 53% of Super Cruise (General Motors), 42% Autopilot (Tesla), and 12% ProPILOT Assist (Nissan) owners said they were comfortable treating their vehicles as complete vehicles. cars. independent driving. Some added that they were happy to let the cars go in inclement weather and to the parking lot.

Tesla has always said that users of its autopilot feature should be alert and keep both hands on the steering wheel while it is activated. Like Super Cruise, it can block inattentive owners. About 40% of study participants admitted that the systems turned them off at some point while driving and did not activate them again.

“The overall message here is that early adopters of these systems still have a poor understanding of the limitations of the technology,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “But we also see clear differences between the three ownership groups. Perhaps system design and marketing exacerbate these misconceptions.”

The IIHS notes that most driver assistance systems consist of two elements: adaptive cruise control, which keeps vehicles moving at a certain speed while maintaining a predetermined distance from the vehicle in front, and lane centering to keep vehicles in the middle of the road. Some systems are also capable of performing lane changes and other advanced maneuvers.

GM’s Super Cruise can be used for 400,000 miles on North American roads. After the accident in San Francisco, the company issued a safety warning. revoke a report last month for software that controls how its vehicles behave when making an unprotected left turn.

The study found that Super Cruise users were more likely to report looking away from the road for extended periods of time than those who used systems from other manufacturers. They also most often consider unsafe driving to be safe when the assist feature is activated.

Tesla has faced a lot of criticism for calling its system an autopilot, which suggests it is more capable of self-driving than it actually is. ProPILOT Assist, on the other hand, suggests that it is more of a driver assistance.

As noted ReutersThe NHTSA opened 37 special investigations into 18 deaths in crashes involving Tesla vehicles, in which systems such as Autopilot were suspected.

Some of the non-driving activities that users engaged in when the systems were activated included eating, drinking, texting, using the phone, and reading books, magazines, or newspapers.

The IIHS stated that the majority of Super Cruise and Autopilot owners were male, while both genders were more or less equally represented among ProPILOT owners. What’s more, most Super Cruise owners were over 50, while Autopilot owners tended to be younger: a quarter of them were under 35. The age of ProPILOT owners was evenly distributed.

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