The Highway Safety Insurance Institute just revealed another test it will do on car as part its the battery of safety tests. It is a rating program that evaluates partially automated vehicles to determine how safe they are to use. As with them crash testthe IIHS will assign Good, Acceptable, Cheap, and Poor ratings.
These new ratings will be applied to systems such as Super Cruise from GM, BlueCruise from Ford and Autopilot from Tesla. Of course, other systems also exist and the IIHS will examine those as well. IIHS tested automatic emergency and forward collision warning brake systembut uses a different rating system.
To receive the highest “Good” ratings in these tests, the IIHS emphasizes the need for an excellent driver monitoring system. It must be able to “ensure that the driver’s eyes are on the road and his or her hands are on the wheel or ready to grab it at all times.” Many driver monitoring systems are already quite effective at tracking the driver’s eyes and being able to sense when the driver’s hand is at the wheel, but tracking the position of their hands while the vehicle is on the wheel will be something new. In theory, manufacturers would need new sensors to accurately track the driver’s hands relative to the steering wheel if they were to deliver a truly hands-free system that passed the IIHS test.
In addition, vehicles with a “Good” rating will have various types of escalation warnings to attract the driver’s attention if monitoring detects that they are not paying attention. Examples of acceptable alarms include ringing, vibrating, pulsing brake and pull the driver’s seat belt. If no warning corrects the driver’s inattention, the vehicle will need a safety procedure to slow the vehicle to a stop or climb, notify the manufacturer’s guidance officer. exit and call emergency services if needed. The IIHS also says that following an escalation warning, the driver should be locked out of the partial automation until the engine is turned off and on again.
Followed by instructions on automatic lane change. To earn a “Good” rating, a car only has to make an automatic lane change when initiated by the driver – for example, you let the car know you want to change to the left lane by activating a signal turn left. In addition, the adaptive cruise control system must be designed not to reactivate after the traffic ahead has come to a complete stop and the driver is not looking at the road.
The list of IIHS requirements continues. For that “Good” rating, the lane-centering system isn’t designed to turn off when the driver is involved – the IIHS says this discourages driver adjustment, as the driver vehicle said it would not want the system to turn them off. The system must also be designed to not operate when the driver’s seat belt is fastened or when automatic emergency braking or lane departure prevention is disabled.
That’s a long list of requirements from the IIHS, and we suspect that manufacturers will have to do some work if they want to receive a “Good” rating. We think it’s good to have a uniform third-party rating system to help consumers differentiate between the different systems and clearly define what they can and can’t do.
Finally, the IIHS has this to say in an unnamed footnote that can only be directed to one manufacturer: Tesla.
“Until now, even the most advanced systems required active supervision by the driver,” the IIHS states. “However, some manufacturers oversell the capabilities of their systems, forcing drivers to treat the system as if they could drive themselves. In severe cases, drivers have been recorded watching videos or playing games on their mobile phones or even taking a nap while skirunning down the highway. ”
The first set of ratings is expected to be released at some point in 2022, though the IIHS did not say exactly when because its testing has been delayed due to a lack of vehicles.