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How Is Chevrolet Trying to Fight Distracted Driving?

Everyone knows that distracted driving is dangerous, but did you know it’s even a threat when driving an autonomous vehicle? At least two incidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot system and distracted driving have resulted in fatalities. In Arizona, a self-driving Uber test vehicle fatally struck a pedestrian while the safety driver was distracted. This highlights a major problem with this type of vehicle, but one automaker is trying to address these issues with an innovative solution.

General Motors (GM) will be releasing an autonomous drive mode called “Super Cruise” on its Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan. However, it will come with a special safety feature to help prevent fatal accidents like the Tesla and Uber incidents. GM will employ infrared cameras and lights to monitor the eyes and head positions of drivers while Super Cruise is activated. The vehicle will then determine if the driver is actually watching the road. If the driver is not paying attention, then the system will bring the car to a safe stop. This is a quantum leap when it comes to autonomous safety features.

Telsa requires that drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel to operate its Autopilot semi-autonomous feature. However, this feature doesn’t account for drivers looking away. There are even devices on the market that allow Tesla drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel when Autopilot is activated. GM’s safety system accounts for both of these failings as it directly monitors the driver and where they are looking.

This feature is so innovative and attention-grabbing that other automakers are seeking to emulate it. BMW has also announced that the latest model of its X5 SUV will be equipped with a semi-autonomous mode. To ensure that drivers are paying attention while BMW’s drive feature is activated, it will also employ infrared LEDs and cameras just like GM’s Super Cruise.

Features like this have a lot of potential when it comes to safety. Experts are already recommending that features like this be used on all cars. This could reduce distracted driving collisions by allowing the car to alert drivers to hazards if they are distracted. Attention systems could even activate autonomous safety features like automatic braking or lane keeping if drivers take their eyes off the road.

Until such innovative technology makes it into cars all over the nation, we will still need protections when it comes to self-driving cars and distracted driving collisions. Here at the Martin Law Office, S.C. we have experience helping the victims of auto accidents in Wisconsin. If you need help, call us at (414)856-4010 or visit our website and fill out our contact form today.


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