So-called Level 2, or partially automated driving technology, such as Tesla's Autopilot and Cadillac's Super Cruise can control acceleration, braking and steering, among other tasks. But the systems available on vehicles today don't replace an attentive driver with eyes on the road.
Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Va., determined some of the designs — and names — of these advanced driver-assistance systems make it too easy for the driver to trust and heavily rely on the technology, resulting in driver disengagement and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the group's findings.
As part of the report, on March 12 the institute released a set of safety guidelines for the design of these driver-assist systems, emphasizing a need for better methods of monitoring driver engagement and for regaining the driver's attention when necessary.
"Let's get this information out there based on our knowledge and what we're seeing, and start a dialogue of how do we make sure that we're not starting to create systems that are going to result in less safety," David Harkey, IIHS president, told Automotive News.
Harkey spoke with Staff Reporter Audrey LaForest about the group's guidelines for driver-assist systems, where the responsibility lies in safety and education about these systems and what the group sees as the next step for industrywide action. Here are edited excerpts.