Study: Many Driver Assist Users Consider Their Cars Self-Driving

Almost half of drivers using Tesla and GMC driver assist technology report feeling comfortable treating their cars as fully autonomous.

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October 12, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of person eating sandwich and texting while driving

Pazargic Liviu / Distracted driving

According to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), many Americans confuse driver assist systems with full self-driving modes, reports Rebecca Bellan in TechCrunch.

This was the conclusion of a survey that “explored habits, expectations and attitudes among regular users of General Motors Super Cruise, Nissan/Infiniti ProPILOT Assist and Tesla Autopilot.” The survey showed that “All three groups were found to be more likely to engage in non-driving related activities — like texting or eating — while using their systems than when driving manually.” Over half of Super Cruise users and 42 percent of Autopilot users “said they were comfortable treating their systems as self-driving.”

The information comes on the heels of multiple crashes involving Tesla cars using the Autopilot system. “The agency has opened a total 39 special investigations into Autopilot-related crashes since 2016, 37 of which are currently still open.” GMC’s Super Cruise was investigated twice during the same time period. “Last month, some Tesla drivers filed suit against the company for falsely advertising the autonomous capabilities of Autopilot and FSD, something California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has also recently accused Tesla of.”

Bella adds, “The study suggests that driver monitoring systems and ‘multifaceted, proactive user-centric safeguards’ are key to shaping proper behavior and understanding about drivers’ roles while using partial driving automation.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 in TechCrunch

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