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posted by hubie on Thursday March 21, @07:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-let-go-of-that-steering-wheel-yet dept.

As discussed in this press release (and picked up by auto industry sites), https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/first-partial-driving-automation-safeguard-ratings-show-industry-has-work-to-do recent tests on "Level 2" types of driving automation suggest that more development is needed.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is introducing a new ratings program to encourage automakers to incorporate more robust safeguards into their partial driving automation systems. Out of the first 14 systems tested, only one earns an acceptable rating. Two are rated marginal, and 11 are rated poor.

"We evaluated partial automation systems from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla and Volvo," IIHS President David Harkey said. "Most of them don't include adequate measures to prevent misuse and keep drivers from losing focus on what's happening on the road."

The Teammate system available on the Lexus LS is the only system tested that earns an acceptable rating. The GMC Sierra and Nissan Ariya are both available with partial automation systems that earn marginal ratings. The LS and Ariya each offer an alternative system that earns a poor rating. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis G90, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, Tesla Model 3 and Volvo S90 also earn poor ratings, in some cases for more than one version of partial automation.
[...]
The new IIHS ratings aim to encourage safeguards that can help reduce intentional misuse and prolonged attention lapses as well as to discourage certain design characteristics that increase risk in other ways — such as systems that can be operated when automatic emergency braking (AEB) is turned off or seat belts are unbuckled.

Scores are awarded based on a battery of tests conducted over multiple trials, and some performance areas are weighted more heavily than others.

The tests were broken out into a number of different areas, here are the sub-headings and there are several paragraphs for each topic, Your AC submitter included the Safety section in a Spoiler:

Driver monitoring
Attention reminders
Emergency procedures
Driver involvement
Safety features

There is little evidence that partial automation has any safety benefits, so it's essential that these systems can only be used when proven safety features are engaged. These include seat belts, AEB and lane departure prevention. For a good rating in this category, a partial automation system should not switch on if the driver is unbelted or AEB or lane departure prevention is not active. If already in operation and the driver unfastens their seat belt, the system should immediately begin its multi-mode, driver-disengagement attention reminders. Finally, it must be impossible to switch off AEB or lane departure prevention if the automation is engaged.

The hands-free ProPILOT Assist 2.0, Lexus Teammate, and GM Super Cruise systems are the only ones that meet all these requirements. The hands-on ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link and the BMW system come close, but each deactivates without issuing an alert when a key safety feature is disengaged. This is dangerous because the driver may not be aware that they need to resume full control of the vehicle.

In contrast, most of the systems fail multiple safety feature requirements. Volvo Pilot Assist, for example, deactivates without an alert when the driver unbuckles, can be activated with lane departure prevention turned off and also remains active if the feature is switched off mid-drive. The two Genesis systems fail all safety feature requirements.

From the IIHS "About" page

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers and safety professionals.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by ElizabethGreene on Friday March 22, @12:11AM

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 22, @12:11AM (#1349759) Journal

    According to https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/iihs-creates-safeguard-ratings-for-partial-automation [iihs.org] to achieve a "good" rating, the system must:

    Monitor both the driver’s gaze and hand position
    Use multiple types of rapidly escalating alerts to get driver’s attention
    Have a Fail-safe procedure that slows vehicle, notifies manufacturer and keeps automation off limits for remainder of drive
    Automated lane changes must be initiated or confirmed by the driver
    Adaptive cruise control must not automatically resume after a lengthy stop (2 minutes) or if the driver is not looking at the road
    Lane centering should not discourage steering by driver
    Automation features cannot be used with seat belt unfastened
    Automation features cannot be used with automatic emergency braking or lane departure prevention/warning disabled

    Bringing in TFA, you also can't have a phone-shaped object in your hand.

    The seat belt one could be an annoyance for me. I religiously wear my seat belt, but my backpack in the passenger seat is often heavy enough to trigger seat belt warnings. I understand the point of the hand position detection too, but that will need to be implemented carefully. If I've reached over to my phone, the driver assistance system should degrade predictably because I'm already distracted.

    We live in interesting times. :D

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