Automakers racing to produce autonomous vehicles face a significant challenge: The safety systems that would enable self-driving vehicles must be improved.
The first wave of active safety technology -- features such as emergency braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control -- has reduced accidents. But experts say several aspects must be upgraded before today's advanced driver assistance systems, known as ADAS, can be depended upon in fully autonomous vehicles.
The ability to sense road conditions is spotty, particularly in bad weather. And poor human machine interface -- HMI in industry parlance -- has been discouraging some drivers from actually using the technology in their cars.