Autonomous technologies make us less safe, new study finds

The research suggests that drivers who become accustomed to such systems are more inclined to fidget with electronics and take both hands off the steering wheel.

Autonomous technologies and driver aids may actually make us less safe, a new study has found.

The research – conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – concluded that drivers were more likely to fidget with electronics and take both hands off the steering wheel when they became accustomed to adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist features.

Senior Research Scientist at IIHS, Ian Reagan, said the results of the study were concerning.

“Drivers were more than twice as likely to show signs of disengagement after a month of using Pilot Assist compared with the beginning of the study,” Mr Reagan said.

“Compared with driving manually, they were more than 12 times as likely to take both hands off the wheel after they’d gotten used to how the lane centring worked.”

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