illinois adult driver education

As kids it was fun to imagine the future, with all of its robots and flying cars. Sci-Fi writers and movie makers seemed to have high hopes for the society of the future, with vehicle automation, towering tech metropolises, and space travel. So far, though, we’ve let them down.

However, one dream of the future is slowly making its way into reality: self-driving cars.

An exciting and, admittedly, terrifying concept, vehicle automation has been making headway in recent years with Tesla’s Autopilot software making headlines in 2015. However, recent innovations that are becoming standard in most vehicles are perhaps the real driving force behind vehicle automation development.

Safety innovations: The First Leaps into Vehicle Automation

Sure, collision avoidance braking systems and blind spot alerts aren’t very new innovations in the automotive industry, but they are major steppingstones for the future of self-driving cars. Afterall, one of the biggest setbacks of automation technology is the concern over safety. It’s hard enough to be riding passenger in a vehicle and not being in control, much less having no one in control of the car at all!

There’s a lot that could go wrong with a car that drives itself, so rolling out one or two automated functions at a time not only allows vehicle manufacturers to work out the bugs in a highly controlled environment, but it helps drivers get used to the car controlling some of the aspects of driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that “94% of serious crashes are due to human error,” but adding automated features such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and lane keep assist will potentially cut down on a significant portion of that human error. The goal is that autonomous vehicles will eliminate the human error in driving, thus significantly reducing the rate of crash related injury and death.

In 2021, vehicle manufacturers are beginning to make many of these automated safety features standard in new models, while others are actively working towards further innovations to bump the industry up from stage 2 to stage 3 automation.

Updates to Safety Regulations

We are still in the beginning stages of vehicle automation, so it’s understandable that the laws surrounding vehicle manufacturing and safety standards are only just beginning to shift in order to make way for the development of autonomous vehicles.

However, this year the NHTSA has finalized the expansion of the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing Initiative (AV TEST) from a pilot to full program, allowing for automation technology to be fully tested and monitored by manufacturers and the administration.

Previously, NHTSA safety testing standards were centered around vehicles controlled by and transporting humans, with standards related to traditional driving controls and conventional seating placement.

With this recent update, automated vehicle designs won’t be as restricted by various safety standards that only apply to vehicles operated by people. It also takes into account vehicles that will be fully automated and will not be transporting passengers, thus eliminating the need for passenger safety systems in these types of designs.

Most importantly, the acceptance of the administration to the future of automation opens the door for new innovations while still keeping up the standard of safety in the vehicles and on the road.

“AV TEST will help participants and the public understand the capabilities and limitations of these technologies, to share best practices, and to promote healthy competition for safer practices and information sharing that the public can review and compare.”

NHTSA Deputy Administrator, James Owens

Final Thoughts

We still have a long way to go for self-driving cars, but 2021 could prove to be a major year for innovations in vehicle automation. We’re excited to see what new technology will be developed how it will help us stay safe on the road!

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

As kids it was fun to imagine the future, with all of its robots and flying cars. Sci-Fi writers and movie makers seemed to have high hopes for the society of the future, with vehicle automation, towering tech metropolises, and space travel. So far, though, we’ve let them down.

However, one dream of the future is slowly making its way into reality: self-driving cars.

An exciting and, admittedly, terrifying concept, vehicle automation has been making headway in recent years with Tesla’s Autopilot software making headlines in 2015. However, recent innovations that are becoming standard in most vehicles are perhaps the real driving force behind vehicle automation development.

Safety innovations: The First Leaps into Vehicle Automation

Sure, collision avoidance braking systems and blind spot alerts aren’t very new innovations in the automotive industry, but they are major steppingstones for the future of self-driving cars. Afterall, one of the biggest setbacks of automation technology is the concern over safety. It’s hard enough to be riding passenger in a vehicle and not being in control, much less having no one in control of the car at all!

There’s a lot that could go wrong with a car that drives itself, so rolling out one or two automated functions at a time not only allows vehicle manufacturers to work out the bugs in a highly controlled environment, but it helps drivers get used to the car controlling some of the aspects of driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that “94% of serious crashes are due to human error,” but adding automated features such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and lane keep assist will potentially cut down on a significant portion of that human error. The goal is that autonomous vehicles will eliminate the human error in driving, thus significantly reducing the rate of crash related injury and death.

In 2021, vehicle manufacturers are beginning to make many of these automated safety features standard in new models, while others are actively working towards further innovations to bump the industry up from stage 2 to stage 3 automation.

Updates to Safety Regulations

We are still in the beginning stages of vehicle automation, so it’s understandable that the laws surrounding vehicle manufacturing and safety standards are only just beginning to shift in order to make way for the development of autonomous vehicles.

However, this year the NHTSA has finalized the expansion of the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing Initiative (AV TEST) from a pilot to full program, allowing for automation technology to be fully tested and monitored by manufacturers and the administration.

Previously, NHTSA safety testing standards were centered around vehicles controlled by and transporting humans, with standards related to traditional driving controls and conventional seating placement.

With this recent update, automated vehicle designs won’t be as restricted by various safety standards that only apply to vehicles operated by people. It also takes into account vehicles that will be fully automated and will not be transporting passengers, thus eliminating the need for passenger safety systems in these types of designs.

Most importantly, the acceptance of the administration to the future of automation opens the door for new innovations while still keeping up the standard of safety in the vehicles and on the road.

“AV TEST will help participants and the public understand the capabilities and limitations of these technologies, to share best practices, and to promote healthy competition for safer practices and information sharing that the public can review and compare.”

NHTSA Deputy Administrator, James Owens

Final Thoughts

We still have a long way to go for self-driving cars, but 2021 could prove to be a major year for innovations in vehicle automation. We’re excited to see what new technology will be developed how it will help us stay safe on the road!

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

Start Learning to Drive Today

Give us a call to find out which online course is best for you!

  • 1-888-206-1328

Get Our Latest Driving Tips

Follow us on social media to get our latest tips and drivers ed tools.