I have heard a lot about the features and advantages of autonomous vehicles and how they are being tested on some public roads and highways.
Meanwhile, I have contended that these vehicles should be tested on company proving grounds and not on public roads. Needless to say, my cries are being ignored.
So if self-driving vehicles are safe enough to test on the same roads used by everyone else, why aren't carmakers putting the same safety technology into today's production cars? Anything they use in cars that they're willing to test on public roads should be in the production vehicles they sell.
Level 3 autonomous vehicles have quite a few life-saving features that would be great additions to today's cars. Some manufacturers already offer these features on production cars and trucks, and that makes a lot of sense.
They are touting the advantages of adaptive cruise control, for example, and I have no doubt that rear-end crashes are a major cause of fatal accidents.
Automatic emergency braking — which detects an impending forward crash and applies the brakes to avoid the crash or reduce its severity — is another feature that could save plenty of lives if all new vehicles were equipped with it. And there is no indication that lawyers would prevent its use on grounds that it is untested.
I'm unsure how many features being tried out on autonomous test vehicles can be immediately adapted to production vehicles, but no doubt some could be saving lives today.
Yet these features seem to be dribbling out slowly, one at a time from certain makes.
If they work now, everyone should be able to use them now.
In fact, if carmakers do not adapt these features soon they'd better watch out because the government will force them to.