Are Modern Driving Assistance Features Unreliable? AAA Researchers Say Yes

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is recommending automakers limit the use of advanced driving aids after concluding they’re not really up to the challenge of providing reliable safety.

Over the past two years, AAA has focused on testing crash prevention systems to see if they’re all manufacturers claim — deciding that while many are useful in some instances, they’re far too inconsistent to be considered reliable safety nets. Like us, the group worries that making these features commonplace has created a false sense of security among drivers. While one might assume advanced driving aids have to be halfway decent to be put into vehicles, AAA’s pedestrian detection test from 2019 showed they’re anything but consistent.

On Thursday, America’s favorite motor club returned to report on its latest findings on five systems currently offered by the industry. For the test, AAA selected a 2019 BMW X7 with Active Driving Assistant Professional, 2019 Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise, 2019 Ford Edge with Co-Pilot360, 2020 Kia Telluride with Highway Driving Assist, and a 2020 Subaru Outback with EyeSight. The group was sent to numerous testing sites in California, Utah, and Nevada, and given a 4,000-mile shakedown on public roads — where the outfit found the systems averaged a misstep or disengagement roughly every 8 miles.

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Lane Departure Warnings, Blind Spot Alerts (Probably) Reducing Crashes: Study

Lane departure alerts and blind spot monitoring systems can significantly reduce crashes if consumers use the features, according to two recent studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While this information falls into the no-brainer category, rarely do we get specific metrics on these particular technologies.

“This is the first evidence that lane departure warning is working to prevent crashes of passenger vehicles on U.S. roads,” explained Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research. “Given the large number of fatal crashes that involve unintentional lane departures, technology aimed at preventing them has the potential to save a lot of lives.”

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  • Jeff S A June 22, 2020 article by Steph Willems on this website titled Foresome American Shuns Non-Crewcabs Like Never Before. To paraphrase as follows:"In the eventful 2020 model year, it seems the buying public has never had less use for once-common body styles. It’s four doors, or get lost.According to data posted by JATO Dynamics, the 2020 model year — thus far — has seen the take rate of regular and extended cab trucks sink to new lows. In the U.S., crew cab pickups made up 83.1 percent of 2020MY pickups sold through May of this year. That’s up from 77.8 percent for the 2019 model year, and a significant jump from the 69 percent seen back in the hazy, long-forgotten year of 2016.""In Canada, a full 88.9 percent of 2020 pickup rolling stock has been crew cab in nature, once again showing that, despite their tireless environmental smugness, Canadians like their trucks a lot. Last year’s take was just 80.5 percent, and 2016 shows crew cabs eating up 79 percent of the market. A big gain for 2020, clearly." 'For the current model year, regular cab pickups made up only 3 percent of the U.S. mix, down from 6.6 percent in 2016. Extended cabs account for 14 percent of sales in the U.S., down from 18.7 percent in 2019 and 24.4 percent in 2016.''In Canada, extended cabs make up 9.6 percent of the market, meaning that true two-door, backseat-lacking models account for just 1.5 percent of all pickup sales. That’s half that of the United States.'Vulpine I found this article and even though I agree with you this article gives a compelling reason why manufacturers are not offer regular and extended cabs. Manufacturers have been simplifying and cutting costs offer less variations in body styles, colors, and limiting more options to higher trim packages.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic "...to make room for reality TV reruns..."What an insult!! Shows how far broadcast TV will stoop for a few extra bucks.I much appreciate Jay for keeping the "motor head" world alive in a Zoom society. However, maybe it's time for him to retire or semi-retire. There's enough material for him to do YouTube with most auto related companies willing to underwrite....but the number of shows would be at his own pace.I wish him well!!
  • Gregtwelve I had an '88 Turbo Coupe with 5 spd bought used and really liked it. I loved the looks, it had decent power for the time and a nice interior. Unfortunately the head gasket went at around 60K miles. I repaired it myself and sold it.
  • Mattwc1 I bought a Maverick specifically because I wanted utility and great fuel economy. My wife has a RAV4 hybrid that we really like. I think Toyota would print money with a smaller RAV4 based truck.
  • Varezhka Dunno. Looking at Maverick and Santa Cruz, having the engine in the front of the driver and a crew cab layout will mean the rear bed will be about the same size as kei trucks. And it will still be more than 16ft long. I'd rather get a Tacoma and/or a Hilux at that point.If we actually want a small truck with usable bed, it will have to be cab over layout with standard cab like Toyota TownAce Truck. We already know how popular that would be, even without getting into federal safety requirements.