October 2, 2022

A pair of tests run by AAA in the last two years have found that the partially automated driving systems do not always function properly This is the reason the reason why the auto club has recommended that automakers cut down on their use.

AAA research team recently conducted tests on the systems of five companies across 4400 miles (6,400 kilometers) and found that they experienced problems each time they traveled eight miles (13 kilometers).

The most frequent issues resulted from systems created to ensure that cars stay in their lane. However, tests showed that a lot of cars were unable to recognize damaged vehicles that were in their way. Nearly two-thirds of cars tested hit the damaged vehicle, at an average speed of forty kilometers per hour (mph) as per the study.

The second phase of AAA testing of the system. The study found that very little was different from the earlier test conducted on four different vehicles that were tested in the early months of 2018 leading to a recommendation to automakers do not use the technology in all vehicles.

“AAA has repeatedly observed that active driver assistance systems do not perform consistently, particularly in real-world situations,” explained Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “Automakers need to work toward more reliable technology, including improving lane-keep assist.”

Furthermore systems that incorporate braking and acceleration along with steering control can stop working without warning for those who are determined as AAA. This could result in a potentially dangerous situation in the event that the driver is not fully engaged and faced with a fast decision.

AAA evaluated five vehicles in various research facilities with devices and controllers that analyzed their performance. The test this year consisted of the 2018 BMW X7 SUV and 2020 Cadillac CT6 sedan and 2019 Ford Edge SUV, a 2020 Kia Telluride SUV and a 2020 Subaru Outback SUV. The systems are branded with the names Kia’s “Highway Driving Assist,” “EyeSight” from Subaru, “Co-Pilot 360” from Ford, “Super Cruise” from Cadillac and “Active Driving Assistant Professional” from BMW.

The results were similar results to tests done by AAA for four distinct cars which included Tesla Model S from 2017. Tesla Model S, using their “Autopilot” software.

BMW, General Motors, and Subaru each issued statements stating that their systems aid drivers, however they’re not designed to be fully autonomous. There were messages asking for clarification by each of them. Ford Kia and Kia.

Subaru said that their technology “was created to assist the driver rather than assume the driver’s role, in the event of danger”, and GM has stated that it designed their Super Cruise system to ensure that the driver remains in control.

“Super Cruise goes through rigorous testing and validation, and we are confident in this system,” the GM statement read.

BMW claimed its X7’s technology worked according to AAA’s test requirements. “BMW requires the driver to be alert so that he can intervene when faced with an emergency (such as a car getting stuck in the lane, which was simulated by the AAA study),” BMW stated.

AAA found that the majority of owner’s guides explain how systems do not detect stationary objects.

Recent tests have revealed that the system doesn’t change in any significant way, even though automakers are making improvements to their popular models. Brannon said that this might be cause for concern.

When they first became available the early adopters were and were more informed about technology, Brannon said. But, as they become more widespread models, people who aren’t as technologically savvy will use these systems, he explained.

“People are less knowledgeable about systems and less inclined to get involved in understanding how systems work,” said the researcher stated. “That just assumes they work. This could be a very risky assumption.”

It has also been discovered that many people depend too much in technology. It could be risky in the event that systems fail, as he explained. There is also no established method for cars to alert drivers that their the systems aren’t working. Certain models show a green light on the dashboard, and Cadillacs steering wheel vibrates and a green light switches into flashing red, the driver claimed.

Real-time tests on roads all of the systems experienced difficulty keeping vehicles in their lane and was far enough from guardrails as well as the other cars, AAA said. The examination of the test tracks of three distinct vehicles which included those of the Kia Telluride, the BMW X7, and the Subaru Outback, found that they were all unable to spot an actual vehicle that had stopped on their way more frequently then not Brannon said. .

The Cadillac system was not tested on race tracks because of General Motors limiting its its use to distinct highways. The Ford system was also unable to function at all on track. Both systems are prone to problems using real roads, Brannon said.

Additionally, he said that issues in technology could cause it to be difficult for fully autonomous vehicles to be accepted, as people who are using driver-assist technology might not believe in it.

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