With the continuous evolution of cutting-edge motor vehicle technology, consumers seem to be hedging their bets when it comes to complete driverless automation.
Automakers are under the assumption that drivers want more and more technology. Researchers with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that while drivers have a strong interest in these innovations, they still want a level of control that comes with the safeguards partial automation provides, specifically features being initiated by the driver.
A preference toward partial automation
Partial automation requires driver monitoring with sensors in the steering wheel and driver-facing cameras where the operator has to intervene as necessary. The nationwide survey involved 1,000 drivers and focused on three standard features that include:
- Lane-centering constantly adjusting steering to ensure the vehicle remains in the middle of the lane.
- Automated lane changing that does not require the driver to steer into the next lane with a wide range of driver control.
- Driver monitoring to ensure that individuals have both hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road ahead of them.
Most drivers claim that they are comfortable with the driver-monitoring features, including sensors on steering wheels and cameras tracking the drivers’ faces and hands. In fact, they cite a higher level of safety, knowing that they are being monitored despite potential privacy issues.
More to come with motor vehicle technology
Driverless and driver-assisted technology remain in the early stages, if not an outright “work in progress.” Consumer preferences will set the tone for drivers responsible for using the features and those who get too comfortable and cause serious motor vehicle accidents.