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IIHS on drivers’ confusion of ADAS with self-driving cars

Self-driving cars are far from becoming a reality. Yet there are many drivers in Louisiana, as elsewhere, who think that advanced driver assistance systems are capable of autonomous operation. This is a mistake that could cost a driver their life.

Drivers are not entirely to blame, though. Part of the problem is deceptive marketing. For example, Tesla’s Autopilot program has a name that seems to promise more than it can deliver. In a recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 2,000 drivers were asked what they thought would be allowable in a car with Autopilot. Nearly 50% erroneously believed that they could drive hands-free. Just over 5% thought they could even take a nap.

Also as part of the study, 80 participants watched a video on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Mercedes-Benz had wrongly described this car as self-driving, and though it pulled its ads, the campaign caused lasting confusion. Even when half of the participants received an orientation on the vehicle’s cluster icons, they had trouble understanding the limitations of each feature.

There are five different levels of automation. Level five automated driving is true self-driving. Most ADAS on the market only allow for level two automated driving. This means that drivers are expected to be alert and engaged at all times.

Inattentive driving is a form of negligent driving, and when it is behind a car accident, those who are injured through no fault of their own may have good grounds for a claim. This state allows even those who are partially to blame to file a claim; however, whatever damages they receive will be lowered in proportion to that degree of fault. To ensure a fair settlement, victims may want legal counsel by their side, especially when the time comes for negotiations.

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