While the stated goal of developing driverless vehicles is to make our roads safer, the OEMs are concerned that autonomous technology will have the unintended consequence of making drivers even less engaged in the driving process than they are now.
“The semi-autonomous features that are the building blocks of tomorrow’s driverless cars were designed to compensate for inattentiveness behind the wheel,” Keith Naughton writes in the Bloomberg article “Robots Are Ruining Your Driving Skills.” “Instead, they may be enabling drivers to place too much faith in the new technology.”
That has the automakers “terrified,” one consultant tells Naughton in the Bloomberg article.
In our glued-to-our-smartphone culture, is it any wonder that driver-assist systems – from lane-departure warning to automated emergency braking – already are so popular?
“Surveys have shown consumers are fond of semi-autonomous features because they take the stress out of stop-and-go traffic and alleviate the monotony of long trips,” Naughton writes. “But the freedom afforded by the new aids has invited abuse by drivers who treat the technology as if it’s fully capable of taking control, with little or no human input necessary. YouTube videos have emerged showing daredevil drivers hopping in the back seat as they trick the technology to believe they have hands on the wheel.”
Mike Harley, group managing editor at Kelley Blue Book, tells Naughton that driver-assist technology is making drivers “lazier and less attentive.”
“Most of today’s digital ‘driver assistance’ features are designed to overlay basic driving skills, which relaxes the driver’s sense of responsibility,” he says.
For more, read “Robots are Ruining Your Driving Skills.”