The Journal Saint-François | Do motorists understand modern technology?

On the one hand, you have manufacturers who are making great efforts to make driving safer by introducing more autonomous forms of driving every year. Whether they are called Autopilot, Super Cruise, Propilot or others, we try to make driving easier. On the other side, you have motorists who in many cases do not fully understand all of these systems. A study by the AAA in the United States reveals that a worrying number of people are unaware of the limitations of their car’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The same study here would give the same results.

Have you made a real effort to understand autonomous driving systems?

Companies like GM, Ford, Nissan and others have invested a lot of time and money to make these new technologies work. While some systems work on their own, such as the blind spot detector or the lane change detector, the intelligent cruise control must be activated. The majority of these systems are complicated, require several steps to be functional and few people fully understand all the subtleties and limitations of these systems. Too many people mistakenly believe that adaptive cruise control systems react to stationary objects in the road, like debris or traffic cones. The AAA study also revealed that some believe the system keeps the car centered in its lane. To be honest, some systems, like Ford’s Bluecurise or Tesla’s Autopilot, do, but it’s usually a separate feature known as lane-keep assist. Other participants also believe that the system would work regardless of weather conditions. You blindly trust the system and literally put your life in its hands.

Too few explanations

This same AAA study showed that it usually takes owners of a new car six months to fully understand its technology. Car salespeople explained to me that they go around the car and its technologies with the owners, but admit that this too much information session is not enough for people to understand. For me who is in the business and who changes car every Monday, I spent several hours trying to understand certain systems like the Super Cruise which requires several steps before working. There were 10-15 minutes of dogging on the road before it finally worked and again I had forgotten how I got there. It is important to take the time to learn about the limitations of the ACC software to avoid any accidents.

Request dealer training

Too many people are in a hurry to leave with their new frame. Take the time to ask for a real training session at the dealerships to fully understand your vehicle’s software. Manufacturers should also find ways to make all ADAS systems easier to understand. Technology is going to take up more and more space and already people are completely lost.

The text Do motorists understand modern technology? comes from L’annuel de l’automobile

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