Friday, June 23, 2017


I doubt they need to be "foolproof" in the sense of being 100% safe.

The problems with semiautonomous features should sound a warning bell for auto makers, tech companies and parts suppliers. Customers will need to be convinced that these semiautonomous features that are the building blocks for autonomous vehicles are foolproof before they give up driving control.

They need to work in a way which reduces your stress levels, not increases them. Look even basic "cruise control" which has been around forever was never especially awesome. Sure I use it sometimes and lots of people do but I generally turn it off after awhile because it felt like I had to pay more mental attention, not less, to what was going on. As long as you feel like you might have to take full control suddenly, there's a little primitive brain stress alarm just poised to go off. The "auto-pilot" of instinctive driving (which I've lost somewhat since I don't drive that much anymore) is actually more automatic than autonomous driving features that only sorta work.

Researchers find that Americans are particularly skittish about giving up control of a vehicle to an automated system, but a new study says car buyers are now simply fed up with semi-autonomous features like lane-departure assist and adaptive cruise control, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As part of J.D. Power’s annual Initial Quality Study, the Journal says car buyers reported being “increasingly dissatisfied with the semiautonomous features showing up on vehicles.”

Is this a good idea?

Auto makers and regulators are taking steps to make semiautonomous safety gear becomes more ubiquitous. Nearly a dozen top car companies, for instance, have pledged to make automatic emergency brakes standard on future vehicles.

It could be! But people will like it if they're basically unaware of it until it kicks in, and not if they're expecting to happen, not if they are told "ah, don't worry about the brake, the car will apply it if necessary..probably..."