United Kingdom Car Insurance Industry Wants Rebranding of Driver-Assistance Technology
UNITED KINGDOM – June 12, 2018 (gearbrain.com) An article from gearbrain.com points out that the car insurance industry in the United Kingdom wants driver-assistance technology to be rebranded. The current marketing of these features is misleading and dangerous, industry experts say.*
Around the world, car manufacturers are ramping up production of driver-assistance features in new vehicles. Manufacturers like Tesla, Nissan, and Mercedes are racing to develop technology that takes on more and more driving responsibilities and to outfit as many new cars as possible with the latest technology. These manufacturers are touting their technology as safety improvements, but the insurance industry in the U.K. is pleading with automakers to change their marketing.
Industry experts overseas say brand names like “Autopilot” (Tesla) and “ProPilot” (Nissan) and the marketing behind them lead drivers to believe that these features can do significantly more than is possible. In their current state, driver-assistance features, like Autopilot and ProPilot, are barely semi-autonomous, but many drivers are using them as though they are fully autonomous.
In March, a Tesla driver in California died when his vehicle crashed into a concrete barrier on a highway while in Autopilot mode. Data from the vehicle showed the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel during much of the drive cycle, including at the time of the crash. Later in the year, a driver in the U.K. was arrested for riding in the passenger’s seat of his Tesla while the car was in Autopilot mode on a busy roadway. Many other incidents and crashes involving these types of driver-assistance features have been reported internationally, causing growing concern about their safety.
Critics, including members of the automotive insurance market, say vehicle manufacturers need to take a hard look at their technology branding to make sure consumers understand these features are not a replacement for an alert, attentive, and engaged human driver.
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