Danger: 'Safe' Driver Ahead; Increasing Technology in Cars Makes Motorists More Likely to Have an Accident

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

Danger: 'Safe' Driver Ahead; Increasing Technology in Cars Makes Motorists More Likely to Have an Accident


Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

ACTIVE steering, Adaptive Cruise Control, Anti- lock Braking, Anti- Skid Control , Parking Radar, Adaptive Forward Lighting and Blind-Spot Information System. We've never been safer, right?

Wrong. New research from Brunel University has confirmed an alarming - and long-suspected - anomaly. The more you do for a driver, the more dangerous you make him.

Scientists took two groups of motorists - 24 expert drivers and 20 learners - to put the theory to the test. They made them "drive" a simulator and looked at the effects of overloading them - getting them to do too much at the same time - or underloading them.

The latter involved switching on an automated steering-andbraking system that let the car follow the steering and acceleration movements of the car in front.

If the lead car drove around a bend, so would the following car; if it slowed down, so would the following car. It's the kind of technology that has already been developed by firms such as General Motors and Honda.

Then came the scary bit. Towards the end of the drive, the Adaptive Cruise Control - which maintains that safe distance - was made to fail so that it wouldn't detect the braking action of the car ahead, forcing the driver to intervene to prevent a crash.

When the ACC was used on its own, without the automatic steering, both groups of "overloaded" guinea pigs coped with the emergency. But when both systems were in use and the braking system failed, half of all the learner drivers "crashed".

Researchers found that the devices led the drivers to switch off to such an extent that they were no longer concentrating sufficiently on the task in hand. It had turned drivers into mere passengers. The expert drivers fared better, but only just avoided crashing.

Given the level of automation manufacturers plan to give us over the next few years - I recently glimpsed the future when I "drove" an astonishing "self-drive" Vauxhall Vectra without touching brakes or steering wheel and without crashing - it is alarming stuff. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Danger: 'Safe' Driver Ahead; Increasing Technology in Cars Makes Motorists More Likely to Have an Accident
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.