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Trusting the Tech Behind Self-Driving Vehicles

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When carmakers add high-tech driver aids such as automatic braking or steering, they need to make sure such systems clearly signal the car’s occupants about when they’re working and what they’re doing, says a recent study by Mitsubishi Electric.

Respondents have high trust in adaptive cruise control, which automatically slows and accelerates as a human would, says Gareth Williams, Mitsubishi Electric’s director of advanced development. But he notes they’re very leery of automatic lane keeping. That’s because such systems tend to wander within the lane, making it unclear to the driver whether the technology is functioning correctly.

Williams also says carmakers need to agree on icons and descriptions for high-tech features, so operators know what such systems can, and cannot, do.

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