A new survey from AAA finds that 40% of Americans expect partially automated driving systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself, indicating a gap in consumer understanding of these technologies and reality. AAA also tested these systems and found that they are in fact not designed to take over the task of driving and can be significantly challenged by every-day, real-world conditions such as poor lane markings, unusual traffic patterns, and stationary vehicles. As this type of technology becomes more commonplace on the road, AAA cautions consumers not to take vehicle system names at face value and, although meant to assist in the driving task, they should never be used as a replacement for driver engagement.
“With today’s exciting advances in vehicle technology, there is a greater need for naming that clearly signals to a driver what the system does,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Vague or confusing terminology may lead someone to overestimate a system’s capability, unintentionally placing the driver and others on the road at risk.”