AAA research shows that consumers can come across as many as 20 names for a singleadvanced driver assistance system (ADAS) function.
Take blind spot warning for example. This functionality detects vehicles in the blind spot while driving and notifies the driver of their presence. Some systems provide an additional warning if the driver activates the turn signal).
Audi calling blind spot warning “Audi side assist”, while Toyota calls it “blind spot monitor”. On some GM vehicles, this is called “side blind zone warning.”
Worse, as Kelly Funkhouser, Consumer Report’s chief of connected and automated vehicles, points out, “Sometimes there’s a different name on the website, in the owner’s manual, then in the in-car menu.”
But drivers will be happy to hear that late last month, a coalition of leading auto and vehicle safety experts issued a set of comprehensive and updated recommendations for universal terms for ADAS.
The coalition includes Consumer Reports, AAA, JD Power, the National Safety Council, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), and SAE International. It also calls for essential consumer education about the benefits, limitations and possibilities of ADAS.
Confusion around ADAS leads to buyer confusion and risky behavior
According to PAVE, misrepresenting or overestimating the capabilities of vehicle safety features in marketing means consumers can rely too much on these systems. Even journalists are wrong.
For example, Tesla calls its driver assistance program “Full Self-Driving beta.” However, the system is ADAS, not autonomous.
I believe that the vast majority of the 100,000 people who pay for Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving beta” are responsible people. They use the technology to increase their driving style. They look forward to testing the added features or improvements in each beta.
The company faces yet another investigation into its ADAS technology after the death of a motorcyclist last week. So it would be a good time for the brand to get on board with universal terminology. But it remains bullish.
Furthermore, with the rise of subscriptions or additional payments for additional features, it is essential that features such as Lane Centering Assistance and Indirect Driver Monitoring System are understood across the board. Not only by buyers, but also by car manufacturers, regulators, safety organizations, journalists and other stakeholders. It is the only way to expand the capabilities of vehicle automation technologies.