Drivers Unclear on What Their Automated Vehicle Systems Can – and Cannot – Do

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report reveals knowledge gap.

June 20, 2019

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council applauds the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for gauging the public’s perceptions of automated vehicle systems. Unsurprisingly, drivers are still confused about what these systems can and cannot do. Part of this confusion stems from misleading nomenclature; what technology is called does not always accurately reflect what the technology does. Additionally, drivers are confused by the signals they’re receiving from their vehicles, which underscores the need for better education.

NSC encourages drivers to visit MyCarDoesWhat.org to understand the signals and communications they’re receiving from their vehicles, because the communications are very helpful but can be confusing. Additionally, the Council urges automakers to stop using terminology like “autopilot” or “self-driving” to describe the operating systems in commercial vehicles today. No vehicle currently available for purchase by the public is capable of driving without an active and attentive human behind the wheel. Yes, our cars are getting smarter, but they still only work with us – not without us. The Council encourages automakers to endorse initiatives and actions that standardize the names and descriptions of vehicle technologies.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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