Automated systems need stronger safeguards to keep drivers focused on the road

tesla crash

New technologies such as autonomous vehicles have been promoted as an all-or-nothing solution. David Brown says that authorities are now recognising the need for half way measures

Investigations have shown that a Tesla driver who died two years ago, was playing a video game at the time of the crash while the car was being driven semi-autonomously using Tesla’s Autopilot software.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a set of research-based safety recommendations when using partially automated driving systems. The guidelines emphasise how to keep drivers focused on the road even as the vehicle does more of the work.

They suggest systems that progressively give a visual reminder, an audio or physical alert, pulse braking or if the driver continues not to respond put the hazard lights on and bring the car to a stop.

Motoring Minutes are heard around Australia every day on over 50 radio channels through the Torque Radio networkMotoring Minutes have an average daily audience of over 150,000 listeners. Motoring Minutes are also broadcast as part of Overdrive Radio Program, which is broadcast through the Community Radio Network across Australia and has a weekly audience of over 430,000. 

About David Brown 428 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto