- Photo courtesy of IIHS.

Photo courtesy of IIHS.

Drivers remain skeptical about lane-centering systems, even though they are relatively confident in the performance of adaptive cruise control systems, according to recent research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Over 75% of participants agreed that the automated systems accelerated and decelerated the vehicle smoothly and detected moving vehicles ahead. But fewer than half agreed that the technologies consistently detected lane markings on the roadway, detected stopped vehicles ahead, or that they knew whether the automation detected lane markings on the roadway.

The goal of the research was to learn about the connection between acceptance of automated systems and driver perceptions of how well the technologies function.

The results showed that drivers had more faith in the automated systems' ability to maintain a steady speed and safe distance from the vehicle in front of them as compared to a system’s ability to keep them in their lane.

Noteworthy, driver’s impressions of automated technology in general were colored by how well they perceived the lane-centering technology to work. Their perceptions of the effectiveness of lane-centering systems had a bigger impact on how they rated the overall driving experience.

On average, drivers were mostly neutral about whether automation improved the overall driving experience.

IIHS notes that the key takeaway is this: For automated technologies to make driving safer, motorists have to accept them and use them correctly.

Previous research shows that collision-avoidance systems can eliminate or mitigate many crashes. After all, experts agree that some 75% of crashes are due to driver error.

This latest test research from IIHS confirms findings from a similar 2018 study that found drivers are more comfortable with systems that make smooth, gradual speed or steering adjustments.

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