Assisted driving systems installed in vehicles from Tesla Inc, Hyundai Motor Co, and Subaru Corp failed to avoid frontal collisions in AAA tests, although Tesla’s Autopilot system was successful in slowing the vehicle at forward speed hitting an oncoming foam car model.
The AAA, a US consumer and travel services organization, said the tests illustrate how current driver assistance and automated braking systems fall short of true autonomous driving and require drivers to drivers keep control of the vehicles.
A growing number of new vehicles are equipped with Automated Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, which partially automate functions such as steering, lane keeping and braking. Tesla’s Autopilot is one of the best-known systems, but most major automakers offer similar technology. Regulators, car insurers and manufacturers warn that ADAS systems cannot safely replace the full attention of a human driver.
In their latest study of the limits of assisted driving technology, the AAA researchers set up four scenarios for the three models tested: passing a dummy car traveling in the same direction as the tested vehicle; pass a dummy cyclist heading in the same direction; race a dummy car on a head-on collision course at 25 miles per hour; and avoiding a dummy cyclist crossing the path of the car under test.
All three test vehicles detected and avoided hitting the dummy vehicles and cyclists traveling in the same direction ahead of the test vehicles, the AAA said.
But the Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Forester did not appear to sense or slow to avoid hitting the foam dummy vehicle during a simulated frontal crash, the AAA said.
The Model 3 automatically braked when it detected the oncoming dummy car, slowing to 3.2 miles per hour or less before colliding with the dummy car.
Tesla did not respond to comment on the study. Hyundai said in a statement that it is “reviewing the findings of the AAA report as part of its ongoing commitment to customer safety.”
Subaru is reviewing the AAA’s test to understand the methodology and does not have a detailed response at this time, spokesman Dominick Infante said in an email. The automaker has improved its EyeSight driver assistance system for the 2022 model year Forester, he added.
The AAA said a tested Subaru Forester failed to detect a simulated cyclist crossing its path in five tries. A Tesla Model 3 and a Hyundai Santa Fe saw and braked a fictional cyclist crossing their path.
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