Driver Assisted Technologies: The Future Is Now

Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Driver Assisted Technologies: The Future Is Now

Driver assisted technologies (“DAT”) are just that.  They are technologies designed to assist the driver operate the car.   They rely primarily on sensor technology to monitor the driver’s behavior, the car, and areas around the car.   If a hazard inside or outside the car is detected, the DAT will intervene to change the car’s behavior or path, or use an alarm to alert the driver.   DAT will improve driver safety, reduce collisions or the severity of collisions, and inevitably lead to newer designs and ever-safer cars.

Drivers have been using rear cameras for some time now, and it has reduced backing accidents and blind-spot deaths.  Some of the newer and more current DATs include the following: Driver Drowsiness Detection, Predictive Emergency Braking Systems, Lane Assist Systems, Rear Cross Traffic Alerts, Construction Zone Assists, Predictive Pedestrian Protection, Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Vehicle Communication Systems, and Traffic Sign Recognition, to name but a few.

There Will Be Defects.   As with all technologies, however, there will be glitches and design and manufacturing defects.  Sensors will not sense.  Radar will not detect.  Drivers must remain ever alert, and not rely wholly on sensing systems until they are proven flawless—and that may never be the case.

Sensors will not sense.   If sensors are broken, programmed wrongly, or broken too easily, then the DAT will malfunction and can actually give the driver incorrect data.   This itself might cause a collision, or it might cause the driver not to trust the DAT, thereby reducing its effectiveness.   They might speed up a car when it needs to slow down.   It might cause a car to not see an obvious hazard.

Algorithms will not compute fully, or at all.   It’s already thought that some airbags are not deploying in current cars because of algorithm errors.   Sensors rely on programs and algorithm.  If those are inadequate or contain a programming error, or a math error, then the DAT will not ready the situation correctly and may harm the driver.    For example, it might cause an airbag not to deploy, or a make a car speed up in a school zone.

Override sensors might fail.  Most modern DAT and car technology plans for a driver override switch.   Some kind of switch to let the driver take control over the car in an emergency.  Those too might fail and leave a driver worse off than before his car got DAT devices.

DATs will undoubtedly make cars better and drivers safer.  But safety advocates, like The Cooper Firm, will continue to be vigilant to ensure that the new technology does more good than harm, and to help those when it does not.

We’re Here to Help You.

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