After Tesla’s automated car was partially at fault for a fatal crash in 2016, safety investigators in the US have been calling on carmakers to ensure that more is done to keep drivers engaged even while their cars are steering themselves.
Since this fatal crash, investigations have been opened regarding two more cases involving Tesla vehicles. These investigations call into question whether enough has been done to ensure that automated cars are safe and that drivers aren’t misusing the vehicles.
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Concern is growing over the automated car
There’s a level of concern over keeping people in automated cars’ attention on the road, despite the car driving itself. There’s also concern over keeping the drivers of traditional cars’ attention on the road and away from electronic devices. Brands such as Subaru have installed infrared cameras, trained on the cockpit, to ensure that drivers aren’t nodding off or distracted.
Driver monitoring technology, such as Geotab, is necessary even in automated cars. This would ensure that drivers are behaving responsibly even though they are not personally in charge of steering the car.
The problem with Tesla
The reason that so many crashes in automated cars seem to come from Tesla is because their cars are designed to only be semi-autonomous. There are some objects in its path that Tesla’s systems will not be able to detect. To counteract this, Tesla implemented sensors in the steering wheel. If the driver’s hands are found to not be on the wheel, then a warning is given, and then a second later, the car will begin to slow down.
Driver attentiveness is an area that requires a lot of thought from car manufacturers as we move towards automated cars. For more information about improving driver behaviour, get in touch today!