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Automated Driving Systems Are Prone to Errors, Study Finds

A recent study by AAA found that, on average, for every 4,000 miles of real world driving, vehicles with active driving assistance systems experienced some type of system-related error every eight miles.

by Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance / August 12, 2020
Shutterstock/Just Super

(TNS) — The most advanced levels of automated driving systems currently available for purchase may actually be causing more problems than they’re worth, according to new research.

Vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems -- a form of Level 2 driving automation which combines braking, accelerating and steering to provide partially autonomous driving -- are likely to experience frequent issues with the novel systems that are still in their infancy, according to a recent study by AAA.

The study found that, on average, for every 4,000 miles of real world driving, vehicles with active driving assistance systems experienced some type of system-related error every eight miles.

“Active driving assistance systems are designed to assist the driver and help make the roads safer, but the fact is, these systems are in the early stages of their development,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “With the number of issues we experienced in testing, it is unclear how these systems enhance the driving experience in their current form.

The majority of issues observed related to the assistance system’s inability to maintain proper lane positions, often veering too close to guardrails or other vehicles, with such incidences accounting for 73% of all issues observed on the public roadway tests.

Researchers also noted several instances where the assisted driving systems would quickly disengage, with little to no warning, dangerously placing drivers back in complete control of the vehicle at a split-second’s notice.

During the closed course evaluation, the systems generally handled better than during the real world scenarios, but still struggled in certain instances, like identifying and avoiding disabled vehicles.

When approaching a simulated, disabled vehicle on the closed course, vehicles with the active driving assistance systems engaged in a collision 66% of the time at an average speed of approximately 25 miles per hour.

“AAA has repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently, especially in real-word scenarios,” said Brannon. “Manufacturers need to work toward more dependable technology, including improving lane keeping assistance and providing more adequate alerts.”

©2020 Staten Island Advance, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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