While it’s likely to be a number of years before fully autonomous vehicles start rolling onto the nation’s highways the latest crash avoidance technologies – including autonomous braking systems – are having a major impact, according to a new study that finds they result in significantly fewer crashes, injuries and fatalities.
The new report by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reveals that forward collision avoidance systems – especially those that can begin to brake even before the driver is aware of a problem – and adaptive lighting systems are delivering the biggest benefits.
But not all the new crash-avoidance technologies are proving equally effective. There’s no clear evidence that blind spot detection and park assist systems have a measurable effect. And Lane Departure Warning technology “appears to hurt, rather than help,” the new report cautions.
As more automakers offer advanced technologies on their vehicles, insurance data provide an early glimpse of how these features perform in the real world,” says Matt Moore, vice president of HLDI, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “So far, forward collision technology is reducing claims, particularly for damage to other vehicles, and adaptive headlights are having an even bigger impact than we had anticipated.”