“[The] American Automobile Association (AAA) has repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently, especially in real-word scenarios,” said Greg Brannon, AAA automotive engineering and industry relations director, speaking about a recent AAA study.
AAA evaluated four vehicles that were equipped with active driving assistance (ADA) systems in 2018. According to the study, these systems assist the driver with vehicle acceleration, braking and steering. The association focused on two questions: how do vehicles equipped with ADA systems perform during scenarios reasonably encountered in highway driving situations, and how do vehicles equipped with ADA systems perform during naturalistic highway driving? Highway driving situations were evaluated via closed-course testing, according to the study, while naturalistic highway driving was evaluated on public highways and interstates.
AAA’s research found that over the course of 4,000 miles of “real-world driving,” vehicles equipped with ADA systems experienced an issue every eight miles, on average. Association researchers highlighted issues with vehicle systems unable to keep the vehicles tested in specific lanes and coming too close to other vehicles or guardrails. AAA also found that ADA systems, those that combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering, often disengage with little notice, which according to the study, almost instantly gives the control back to the driver. AAA recommends manufacturers increase the scope of testing for ADA systems.
“Manufacturers need to work toward more dependable technology, including improving lane keeping assistance and providing more adequate alerts,” said Brannon.
When AAA tested the functionality of active driving assistance on public roadways 73% of errors involved instances of lane departure or erratic lane position. Its closed-course testing found the systems performed mostly as expected, and were challenged when approaching a simulated disabled vehicle. When encountering this test scenario, in aggregate, a collision occurred 66% of the time, according to the study. For a simulated stop-and-go scenario, none of the evaluated ADA systems made contact with a lead vehicle for all tested deceleration rates.
According to the study, currently available ADA systems are not capable of sustained vehicle operation without constant driver supervision, and it is imperative that the driver maintain situational awareness at all times.
To read AAA’s study, click here.