Automakers Still Working Out Advanced Car Safety System 'Kinks'

Dec 10, 2014 02:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro


A new study has been released warning car buyers to be cautious when it comes to advanced safety systems, like blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems,

The study, released by AAA, says that the "kinks" still need to be worked out of a number of systems being introduced in new vehicles.

"While the systems performed effectively in multiple situations, this evaluation uncovered scenarios where the systems failed to perform as expected," said the study, which was released on Tuesday.

AAA outlined the limitations of different driver-assistance technologies.

-Road conditions were often an issue for lane-departure warning systems, which caused vehicles to lose track of lane location.

-Alerts and warning can often be confusing to a driver, which increases the risk of a car crash.

-Blind-spot monitoring systems were less affective in detecting motorcycles than passenger vehicles.

- Blind-spot monitoring systems had issues when trying to detect fast-moving vehicles. Alerts were "often provided too late for evasive action," in a few situations.

"With nearly three-quarters of 2014 vehicles offering blind-spot detection and 50 percent offering lane-departure warnings as options, it's key that consumers are educated on how to get the best benefit from these systems," said John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering, according to the study. "AAA's tests found that these systems are a great asset to drivers, but there is a learning curve."

Blind-spot monitoring systems and lane-departure warning systems are available for a wide range of vehicles, like the Toyota Camry. An optional Technology package is available for the 2015 Ford Escape Titanium, which includes a blind-spot monitoring system.

 Knowing about these systems and learning how they operate is an important step before driving any vehicle.

"As travelers head out for holiday visits, they may be renting a vehicle equipped with blind-spot monitoring or lane-departure warning systems," Nielsen added. "It's important to take the time to review these systems so that you're prepared for alerts and warnings and understand the limits of the technology."

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