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  1. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity and completed the training. For now, drivers are their best safety advocate to ensure that they understand their technology’s features, functions and limitations before leaving the lot. In order to reduce misuse or overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to: Read up: Read your owner’s manual to learn what systems are installed in your vehicle. See it in action: Insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway. Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technologies before leaving the dealership. For example, ask if there are scenarios when a technology will not function properly on the road.
  2. Infotainment systems are one the banes of the automotive world. From confusing interfaces and controls, to issues with crashing and features not working. Add distracting drivers to this list. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety worked together with researchers at the University of Utah to measure the time it took to complete the task, and the visual and mental demand on the driver. 120 drivers were asked to perform various tasks such as operating the stereo and putting in information for navigation system using all input methods - touchscreen, physical controls, and voice commands. They would do this in 30 different vehicles on a two-mile stretch of road going 25 mph. The results are sadly not surprising. On average, it took drivers 24 seconds on average to finish many common tasks. Inputting an address in the navigation system could take more than 40 seconds. At 25 mph, that time is more than enough to travel the length of four football fields. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel. When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA rated the 30 vehicles based on how much demand is put on a driver. None of 30 vehicles scored what AAA considers to be low demand. 11 vehicles scored high while 12 vehicles were rated at very high. “Our objective assessment indicates that many of these features are just too distracting to be enabled while the vehicle is in motion. Greater consideration should be given to what [infotainment] features and functions should be available to the driver when the vehicle is in motion rather than to what [infotainment] features and functions could be available to motorists,” the study stated. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel AAA Foundation study reveals in-vehicle technology takes one step forward, two steps back WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 5, 2017) – New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences. AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road. Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested. None of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while 23 systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers: 12 systems generated very high demand 11 systems generated high demand 7 systems generated moderate demand Overall Demand by Vehicle Low Moderate High Very High N/A Chevrolet Equinox LT Ford F250 XLT Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Lincoln MKC Premiere Toyota Camry SE Toyota Corolla SE Toyota Sienna XLE Cadillac XT5 Luxury Chevrolet Traverse LT Dodge Ram 1500 Ford Fusion Titanium Hyundai Sonata Base Infiniti Q50 Premium Jeep Compass Sport Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Kia Sorento LX Nissan Maxima SV Toyota Rav 4 XLE Audi Q7 QPP Chrysler 300 C Dodge Durango GT Ford Mustang GT GMC Yukon SLT Honda Civic Touring Honda Ridgeline RTL-E Mazda3 Touring Nissan Armada SV Subaru Crosstrek Premium Tesla Model S Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO. Frustration resulting from unsatisfactory use of these systems increases cognitive demand and increases the potential for distracted driving. “AAA has met with interested auto manufacturers and suppliers to discuss our findings. We welcome the opportunity to meet with other interested parties to discuss the report’s recommendations and ways to mitigate driver distraction,” added Doney. According to a new AAA public opinion survey, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say that they want the new technology in their vehicle, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly. “Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web — tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel,” continued Doney. “Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks.” Researchers developed an advanced rating scale to measure the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demands and the time it took to complete a task experienced by drivers using each vehicle’s infotainment system. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand is equivalent to trying to balance a checkbook while driving. AAA believes a safe in-vehicle technology system should not exceed a low level of demand. Researchers found that most infotainment systems tested could easily be made safer by simply following clearly stated federal recommendations such as locking out text messaging, social media and programming navigation while the car is in motion. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked. “These are solvable problems. By following NHTSA’s voluntary guidelines to lock out certain features that generate high demand while driving, automakers can significantly reduce distraction,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research. “AAA cautions drivers that just because a technology is available while driving does not mean it is safe or easy to use when behind the wheel. Drivers should only use these technologies for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.” A total of 120 drivers ages 21-36 participated in the study of 30 new 2017 model-year vehicles. The latest report is the fifth phase of distraction research from AAA’s Center for Driving Safety and Technology. The Center was created in 2013 with the goal of studying the safety implications for how drivers interact with new vehicle technologies when behind the wheel. Visit AAA.com/distraction to learn more.
  3. 'Autonomous Emergency Braking' (AEB) and the various names this system goes under have the same goal; to bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn't fails to engage the brakes. But a new study done by AAA reveals not all systems are equal and a very worrying trend concerning a consumer's belief in the system. There are two types of emergency braking systems, ones that are designed to bring the vehicle to stop to avoid a crash and ones that reduce speed to limit the severity of a crash. Unsurprisingly, AAA's tests showed that systems designed to avoid a crash did a better job than systems designed to limit the crash damage. At speeds under 30 mph, systems designed to avoid crashes were successful about 60 percent of the time. Systems designed to limit damage had a success rate of 33 percent. Increase speed to 45 mph and the systems designed to avoid a crash had a success rate of 74 percent. The systems designed to limit damage were successful 9 percent of the time. AAA also surveyed Americans familiar with the technology and it revealed something very troubling. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe autonomous emergency braking systems will totally avoid a crash without driver intervention. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair in a statement. This is important as 22 different automakers have agreed to make this technology standard on all of their models by 2022. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have this system as standard while more than 50 percent of new vehicles have it as an option. AAA recommends that if you're looking at a vehicle with an AEB system to make sure what system you'll have. It will make a difference when it comes to avoiding a crash. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 Hit The Brakes: Not All Self-Braking Cars Designed to Stop AAA Tests Reveal Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Vary Significantly ORLANDO, Fla (August 24, 2016) – New test results from AAA reveal that automatic emergency braking systems — the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles — vary widely in design and performance. All the systems tested by AAA are designed to apply the brakes when a driver fails to engage, however, those that are designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by nearly twice that of those designed to lessen crash severity. While any reduction in speed offers a significant safety benefit to drivers, AAA warns that automatic braking systems are not all designed to prevent collisions and urges consumers to fully understand system limitations before getting behind the wheel. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car.” In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA evaluated five 2016 model-year vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems for performance within system limitations and in real-world driving scenarios that were designed to push the technology’s limits. Systems were tested and compared based on the capabilities and limitations stated in the owner’s manuals and grouped into two categories — those designed to slow or stop the vehicle enough to prevent crashes, and those designed to slow the vehicle to lessen crash severity. After more than 70 trials, tests reveal: In terms of overall speed reduction, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems that are designed to only lessen crash severity (79 percent speed reduction vs. 40 percent speed reduction). With speed differentials of under 30 mph, systems designed to prevent crashes successfully avoided collisions in 60 percent of test scenarios. Surprisingly, the systems designed to only lessen crash severity were able to completely avoid crashes in nearly one-third (33 percent) of test scenarios. When pushed beyond stated system limitations and proposed federal requirements, the variation among systems became more pronounced. When traveling at 45 mph and approaching a static vehicle, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced speeds by 74 percent overall and avoided crashes in 40 percent of scenarios. In contrast, systems designed to lessen crash severity were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent overall. “Automatic emergency braking systems have the potential to drastically reduce the risk of injury from a crash,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “When traveling at 30 mph, a speed reduction of just 10 mph can reduce the energy of crash impact by more than 50 percent.” In addition to the independent testing, AAA surveyed U.S. drivers to understand consumer purchase habits and trust of automatic emergency braking systems. Results reveal: Nine percent of U.S. drivers currently have automatic emergency braking on their vehicle. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. drivers want automatic emergency braking on their next vehicle. Men are more likely to want an automatic emergency braking system in their next vehicle (42 percent) than female drivers (35 percent). Two out of five U.S. drivers trust automatic emergency braking to work. Drivers who currently own a vehicle equipped with automatic emergency braking system are more likely to trust it to work (71 percent) compared to drivers that have not experienced the technology (41 percent). “When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends considering one equipped with an automatic emergency braking system,” continued Nielsen. “However, with the proliferation of vehicle technology, it’s more important than ever for drivers to fully understand their vehicle’s capabilities and limitations before driving off the dealer lot.” For its potential to reduce crash severity, 22 automakers representing 99 percent of vehicle sales have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new vehicles by 2022. The U.S. Department of Transportation said this voluntary agreement will make the safety feature available on new cars up to three years sooner than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions, which automatic emergency braking systems are designed to mitigate, result in nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 500,000 injuries annually. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have automatic emergency braking as standard equipment, and more than half of new vehicles offer the feature as an option.
  4. AAA latest survey find 1 in 5 want an EV now! AAA latest survey results of auto's, the type wanted and what people love or hate has really shown big changes. 20% of America or 50 million want an EV auto up from 15% in 2017. AAA survey found the biggest fear on EV auto's was range anxiety and that is dropping month by month as people new to EV technology see how it fits into their everyday life. While range anxiety is one of the top fears, what has changed is that more people like the reliability of EV or Hybrids over traditional petro powered auto's. On top of this is the reduced maintenance EVs bring, more technology as society embraces it with acceleration, handling and safety technology being mentioned. Some really good info, check out the story below. https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/05/1-in-5-us-drivers-want-electric-vehicle/
  5. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity and completed the training. For now, drivers are their best safety advocate to ensure that they understand their technology’s features, functions and limitations before leaving the lot. In order to reduce misuse or overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to: Read up: Read your owner’s manual to learn what systems are installed in your vehicle. See it in action: Insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway. Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technologies before leaving the dealership. For example, ask if there are scenarios when a technology will not function properly on the road. View full article
  6. Infotainment systems are one the banes of the automotive world. From confusing interfaces and controls, to issues with crashing and features not working. Add distracting drivers to this list. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety worked together with researchers at the University of Utah to measure the time it took to complete the task, and the visual and mental demand on the driver. 120 drivers were asked to perform various tasks such as operating the stereo and putting in information for navigation system using all input methods - touchscreen, physical controls, and voice commands. They would do this in 30 different vehicles on a two-mile stretch of road going 25 mph. The results are sadly not surprising. On average, it took drivers 24 seconds on average to finish many common tasks. Inputting an address in the navigation system could take more than 40 seconds. At 25 mph, that time is more than enough to travel the length of four football fields. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel. When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA rated the 30 vehicles based on how much demand is put on a driver. None of 30 vehicles scored what AAA considers to be low demand. 11 vehicles scored high while 12 vehicles were rated at very high. “Our objective assessment indicates that many of these features are just too distracting to be enabled while the vehicle is in motion. Greater consideration should be given to what [infotainment] features and functions should be available to the driver when the vehicle is in motion rather than to what [infotainment] features and functions could be available to motorists,” the study stated. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel AAA Foundation study reveals in-vehicle technology takes one step forward, two steps back WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 5, 2017) – New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences. AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road. Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested. None of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while 23 systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers: 12 systems generated very high demand 11 systems generated high demand 7 systems generated moderate demand Overall Demand by Vehicle Low Moderate High Very High N/A Chevrolet Equinox LT Ford F250 XLT Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Lincoln MKC Premiere Toyota Camry SE Toyota Corolla SE Toyota Sienna XLE Cadillac XT5 Luxury Chevrolet Traverse LT Dodge Ram 1500 Ford Fusion Titanium Hyundai Sonata Base Infiniti Q50 Premium Jeep Compass Sport Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Kia Sorento LX Nissan Maxima SV Toyota Rav 4 XLE Audi Q7 QPP Chrysler 300 C Dodge Durango GT Ford Mustang GT GMC Yukon SLT Honda Civic Touring Honda Ridgeline RTL-E Mazda3 Touring Nissan Armada SV Subaru Crosstrek Premium Tesla Model S Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO. Frustration resulting from unsatisfactory use of these systems increases cognitive demand and increases the potential for distracted driving. “AAA has met with interested auto manufacturers and suppliers to discuss our findings. We welcome the opportunity to meet with other interested parties to discuss the report’s recommendations and ways to mitigate driver distraction,” added Doney. According to a new AAA public opinion survey, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say that they want the new technology in their vehicle, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly. “Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web — tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel,” continued Doney. “Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks.” Researchers developed an advanced rating scale to measure the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demands and the time it took to complete a task experienced by drivers using each vehicle’s infotainment system. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand is equivalent to trying to balance a checkbook while driving. AAA believes a safe in-vehicle technology system should not exceed a low level of demand. Researchers found that most infotainment systems tested could easily be made safer by simply following clearly stated federal recommendations such as locking out text messaging, social media and programming navigation while the car is in motion. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked. “These are solvable problems. By following NHTSA’s voluntary guidelines to lock out certain features that generate high demand while driving, automakers can significantly reduce distraction,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research. “AAA cautions drivers that just because a technology is available while driving does not mean it is safe or easy to use when behind the wheel. Drivers should only use these technologies for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.” A total of 120 drivers ages 21-36 participated in the study of 30 new 2017 model-year vehicles. The latest report is the fifth phase of distraction research from AAA’s Center for Driving Safety and Technology. The Center was created in 2013 with the goal of studying the safety implications for how drivers interact with new vehicle technologies when behind the wheel. Visit AAA.com/distraction to learn more. View full article
  7. 'Autonomous Emergency Braking' (AEB) and the various names this system goes under have the same goal; to bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn't fails to engage the brakes. But a new study done by AAA reveals not all systems are equal and a very worrying trend concerning a consumer's belief in the system. There are two types of emergency braking systems, ones that are designed to bring the vehicle to stop to avoid a crash and ones that reduce speed to limit the severity of a crash. Unsurprisingly, AAA's tests showed that systems designed to avoid a crash did a better job than systems designed to limit the crash damage. At speeds under 30 mph, systems designed to avoid crashes were successful about 60 percent of the time. Systems designed to limit damage had a success rate of 33 percent. Increase speed to 45 mph and the systems designed to avoid a crash had a success rate of 74 percent. The systems designed to limit damage were successful 9 percent of the time. AAA also surveyed Americans familiar with the technology and it revealed something very troubling. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe autonomous emergency braking systems will totally avoid a crash without driver intervention. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair in a statement. This is important as 22 different automakers have agreed to make this technology standard on all of their models by 2022. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have this system as standard while more than 50 percent of new vehicles have it as an option. AAA recommends that if you're looking at a vehicle with an AEB system to make sure what system you'll have. It will make a difference when it comes to avoiding a crash. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 Hit The Brakes: Not All Self-Braking Cars Designed to Stop AAA Tests Reveal Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Vary Significantly ORLANDO, Fla (August 24, 2016) – New test results from AAA reveal that automatic emergency braking systems — the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles — vary widely in design and performance. All the systems tested by AAA are designed to apply the brakes when a driver fails to engage, however, those that are designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by nearly twice that of those designed to lessen crash severity. While any reduction in speed offers a significant safety benefit to drivers, AAA warns that automatic braking systems are not all designed to prevent collisions and urges consumers to fully understand system limitations before getting behind the wheel. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car.” In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA evaluated five 2016 model-year vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems for performance within system limitations and in real-world driving scenarios that were designed to push the technology’s limits. Systems were tested and compared based on the capabilities and limitations stated in the owner’s manuals and grouped into two categories — those designed to slow or stop the vehicle enough to prevent crashes, and those designed to slow the vehicle to lessen crash severity. After more than 70 trials, tests reveal: In terms of overall speed reduction, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems that are designed to only lessen crash severity (79 percent speed reduction vs. 40 percent speed reduction). With speed differentials of under 30 mph, systems designed to prevent crashes successfully avoided collisions in 60 percent of test scenarios. Surprisingly, the systems designed to only lessen crash severity were able to completely avoid crashes in nearly one-third (33 percent) of test scenarios. When pushed beyond stated system limitations and proposed federal requirements, the variation among systems became more pronounced. When traveling at 45 mph and approaching a static vehicle, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced speeds by 74 percent overall and avoided crashes in 40 percent of scenarios. In contrast, systems designed to lessen crash severity were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent overall. “Automatic emergency braking systems have the potential to drastically reduce the risk of injury from a crash,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “When traveling at 30 mph, a speed reduction of just 10 mph can reduce the energy of crash impact by more than 50 percent.” In addition to the independent testing, AAA surveyed U.S. drivers to understand consumer purchase habits and trust of automatic emergency braking systems. Results reveal: Nine percent of U.S. drivers currently have automatic emergency braking on their vehicle. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. drivers want automatic emergency braking on their next vehicle. Men are more likely to want an automatic emergency braking system in their next vehicle (42 percent) than female drivers (35 percent). Two out of five U.S. drivers trust automatic emergency braking to work. Drivers who currently own a vehicle equipped with automatic emergency braking system are more likely to trust it to work (71 percent) compared to drivers that have not experienced the technology (41 percent). “When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends considering one equipped with an automatic emergency braking system,” continued Nielsen. “However, with the proliferation of vehicle technology, it’s more important than ever for drivers to fully understand their vehicle’s capabilities and limitations before driving off the dealer lot.” For its potential to reduce crash severity, 22 automakers representing 99 percent of vehicle sales have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new vehicles by 2022. The U.S. Department of Transportation said this voluntary agreement will make the safety feature available on new cars up to three years sooner than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions, which automatic emergency braking systems are designed to mitigate, result in nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 500,000 injuries annually. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have automatic emergency braking as standard equipment, and more than half of new vehicles offer the feature as an option. View full article
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