Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

  • October 1, 2019

The lack of full standardisation of vehicle controls and the driver interface with driver assistance systems means there is often a ‘human factors’ deficit in which drivers are forced to use systems they do not necessarily fully understand, according to a new report for PACTS, ETSC’s UK founder member.

The onset of more vehicle automation may make this worse and urgent action to stop this from happening is needed, according to the authors, Shaun Helman of TRL and Professor Oliver Carsten of the University of Leeds.

The report covers existing systems, such as automated cruise control (ACC) and automated emergency braking (AEB), pointing to significant differences between system capabilities and operation which could create confusion especially when drivers switch vehicles.

The report also points out that car user manuals are making the problem worse, with long-winded explanations of a multitude of circumstances when a system may be activated when not needed, or may not activate when it is needed.

These issues may present serious safety risks when more advanced automated systems come on the market that require handover of full vehicle control from the automated system to the driver i.e. Level 3 automation.

Download the report “What does my car do?” here: