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AAA Study Highlights Limitations of Automated Vehicle Systems

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May 5, 2014—While many advanced driver assistance systems were found to have performed as expected, AAA research suggests that there are certain limitations to the features that could pose threats to drivers.

AAA conducted test-track simulations consisting of a variety of typical commuting scenarios.

Overall, the simulations demonstrated that adaptive cruise control did a good job of maintaining a specified following distance when traveling behind slower-moving vehicles in a highway setting. However, autonomous braking systems did not always recognize obstacles, provide a warning signal or engage the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle.

"There are significant benefits to this technology, but these systems have limitations, and multi-tasking drivers could be caught off guard by relying too heavily on safety features," says John Nielsen, managing director, AAA Automotive Engineering and Repair. "The benefits of these systems could easily be outweighed if motorists are not familiar with their operation or lessen focus behind the wheel. Technology is not a substitute for an alert, engaged driver."

AAA said that tracking a vehicle at highway speeds while navigating a mild curve and the ability to recognize obstacles varied between vehicles and was unexpectedly difficult.

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