Setback for Self-Driving Trucks?

Flaws found in high-tech safety systems

lane keep assist dashboard lights

We’re seeing a shift towards the fitment of driver-assist technology in trucks, but a new study has found drivers still can’t rely solely on the electronic gadgetry.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the U.S. found electronic driver-assist systems, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist systems aren’t perfect.

In fact, the researchers discovered the tech may not see stopped vehicles and could even steer a vehicle into a crash if drivers aren’t monitoring the situation.

Electronic safety systems from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volvo were all put to the test on both a closed track and public roads.

The study finding that the systems can fail under many circumstances, and points to the importance of drivers understanding the limitations of the systems.

“We have found situations where the vehicles under semi-automated control may do things that can put you and your passengers at risk, and so you really need to be on top of it to prevent that from happening.” – David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer.

Does this setback the use of self-driving trucks?

Fred Andersky is the director of government relations for Bendix, he’s told the Heavy Duty Trucking publication in the U.S. that it most likely does.

“This is exactly the reason why we’ve recently stepped up our efforts to educate both fleet executives and drivers even more on what these new technologies can do, and – just as importantly – what they are not capable of doing,”

“And while the information is contained in an owner’s manual, very few people actually read them.”

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