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AAA: Researchers Look At Driving Assistance Programs-Are They Working?

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A new study by AAA finds driving assistance systems in cars may do less to assist drivers and more to interfere.

Are driving assistance systems in new cars working the way they should? New research from AAA says maybe not.

“AAA automotive researchers found that over the course of 4,000 miles of real-world driving, vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems experienced, on average, some type of issue every 8 miles.”

That’s AAA spokesperson, Adrienne Woodland.  She says researchers also noted instances of trouble with the systems keeping the vehicles tested in their lane and coming too close to other vehicles or guardrails.  In addition, AAA also found that active driving assistance systems, those that combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering, often disengage with little notice – almost instantly handing control back to the driver.

Woodland added this could be a dangerous scenario if a driver has become disengaged from the driving task or has become too dependent on the system. So, they’ve offered some recommendations.

“AAA recommends manufacturers increase the scope of testing for active driving assistance systems and limit their rollout until functionality is improved to provide a more consistent and safer driver experience.”

AAA officials say they’ve repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently especially in real world scenarios.  They say manufacturers need to work toward more dependable technology, including improving lane keeping assistance and providing more adequate alerts. For the complete study, Woodland says you can find it at AAA.com

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.