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IIHS Warns of Flawed Driver Assist Features

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August 13, 2018—In a new study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) warned that some electronic driver assist features in cars may not protect passengers without attention from drivers, and in some cases can even steer into an unsafe situation, reported Smart Cities Drive.

One of the questions researchers looked to answer is, do the systems handle driving tasks as humans would? Not always, tests showed. When they didn't perform as expected, the outcomes ranged from the irksome, such as too-cautious braking, to the dangerous, for example, veering toward the shoulder if sensors couldn't detect lane lines, according to the report from IIHS.

The Virginia-based research group tested adaptive cruise control and active lane control systems in the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, a BMW 5-Series, the Volvo S-90 and the Mercedes E-Class. Many of the cars had difficulty staying in the lane in tests on curves or on hills, and in some cases the systems would follow lead cars off the road even when the driver did not intend to, according to Smart Cities Drive.

In tests of the two Tesla vehicles, both models hit a stationary target while traveling at 31 mph when the automatic cruise control was off, but autobrake systems were on (no other cars hit the target under those conditions). With the adaptive cruise control on, the Teslas avoided the obstacle.

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