“..The first aircraft gyroscopic autopilot was developed by Sperry Corporation in 1912. After more than a century, only drones are pilotless.”
In recent years, a number of car companies have—like Tesla—begun offering driver assistance systems that offer lane-keeping as well as adaptive cruise control. This might seem like a big step toward a “self-driving car,” since a system like this can travel down the freeway for miles without human intervention. But a new report from AAA underscores the limitations of these systems.
Its most dramatic finding: the advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) on the latest cars still struggle to avoid collisions with parked vehicles. They tested cars from BMW, Kia, and Subaru; none consistently avoided running into a fake car partially blocking the travel lane.
The ADAS is supposed to do most of the driving, but the human driver is supposed to still monitor the system and make sure it doesn’t make mistakes. But our brains aren’t wired for this level of monotony. Monitoring a system that works correctly 99 percent of the time is in some ways harder—not easier—than just driving the car yourself. And monitoring a system that works correctly 99.9 percent of the time is even harder, because it’s that much easier for our brains to get distracted by something else.