5th December, 2020

Driven by Passion...
Is your car smarter than you?

According to recent research, drivers may need more training than the standard driving test before they get behind the wheel of semi-autonomous cars.

Semi-autonomous cars are ones which have systems such as lane keeping technology and sensors to prevent imminent collisions. It would seem as though these systems would make cars easier to drive, however this has been proved not to be the case. This is because both of these systems require the driver to maintain some form of control over the vehicle, and this is where the problem lies.
Although there are cars out there now that feature driverless technology, they still need some human control. It’s unlikely that fully driverless cars that do not require human input will be on the UK’s roads for many years.

More Training Required

An experiment was recently conducted, in which drivers were separated into two groups. One group was trained so that they understood their responsibilities when driving a semi-autonomous car. The other group simply given an operating manual.

In road safety tests the group that had the training scored significantly higher. Of the group that received training, more than 90% of individuals spotted a potential hazard when the controls were handed from the car to the driver. This group were also found to be more likely to check their mirrors when manually controlling the car. Although this is something that drivers should be doing anyway.

At the moment, there is no more training for semi-autonomous vehicles than there is for manual vehicles. However, in semi-autonomous vehicles the driver’s role has changed, as they are now sharing the work. This means the way in which learners are taught to drive needs to be updated.

In recent years, the driving tests have changed slightly, with the introduction of using driving aids such as sat navs. So it’s clear that it’s only a matter of time before further changes are needed. As with any major changes to driving criteria, the biggest hurdle is informing the millions of people who are already driving on the UK’s roads. They don’t expect to have to take another driving test.

Do you own a car that has autonomous driving systems? If so, how comfortable are you with using them? Do you think you such cars require further training that is currently standard? Let us know in the comments below.

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