WASHINGTON – The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has launched a new YouTube channel that highlights the benefits of driver assist technologies. The launch was timed to correspond with the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“This is the next generation of ‘gotta have it’ auto technology, and when people see the systems in action, they are amazed,” said Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Auto Alliance. “More than 90% of crashes involve driver error of some kind, so automakers created a range of driver assist systems that aid the driver for brief periods of time to help avoid an accident.”

Driver assist systems include lane departure and blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, active headlights, telematics control systems, parking assists and more. These systems are on display at the LA Auto Show, which will continue through Dec. 9.

About six out of 10 consumers (66%) are interested in getting one of these technologies when they next purchase a vehicle, according to an Auto Alliance opinion poll of 5,000 consumers.

There are different types of driver assist systems. Warning and alert systems show a visual warning or sound an alarm or vibrate the steering wheel (or even seats) to alert the driver to take action. On the other hand, active controls actually manage vehicle systems for fractions of seconds in emergencies, like electronic stability control that activates faster than a driver could act.

Almost half of consumers (44%) favor the driving alerts while about a third (34%) favor active systems that steer, slow down or brake the car automatically in emergencies.

Driver assist systems may also be controls and vision aides -- such as integrated in-vehicle telematics systems, cameras or night vision -- to help motorists drive better in all kinds of situations.

The evolution of these technologies and other driver assist options will someday lead to autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles. But consumers today are more comfortable with driving alerts or systems that control the vehicle for seconds at a time, according to research.

Additional polling results indicate consumers are concerned about driving challenges that can be addressed by driver assists:

  • 65% say that erratic drivers on the road are their biggest driving concerns.
  • 58% of respondents said there was a time in the past month when another driver cut in from of them, forcing them to stomp on their brakes.
  • When asked what driving situation is most challenging, answers included cars cutting in front of you (35%), stop-and-go traffic (24%), crowded highways (22%) and pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes (12%).
  • The parking situations that were listed as most challenging included parallel parking (35%), backing in or out of parking spots (19%), pedestrians in parking lots (16%) and getting too close to parking lot ramp walls or other structures (12%).