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Despite The Hype There Are No Autonomous Cars For Sale, Yet

16 November 2018

Many drivers are convinced it’s possible to buy truly “autonomous” cars, when in fact there’s no such thing available for sale, according to a recent report from the European New Car Assessment Program, popularly known in the auto industry as Euro NCAP.

In the United States, a few well-publicized crashes in vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems earlier this year dented consumer confidence in autonomous vehicles, according to a AAA survey last spring. AAA said 73% of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up from 63% at the end of 2017, based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults.

Nevertheless, analysts in the U.S. market still worry consumers don’t fully understand Advanced Driver Assistance Systems like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Keeping Assist, and may rely too heavily on those features to keep them out of trouble.

Adaptive Cruise Control uses sensors to maintain a steady distance between you and the car ahead. If the system detects the distance is shrinking so fast a collision could occur, it alerts the driver. If the driver doesn’t respond quickly or adequately enough, the system can apply the brakes to open up the following distance. In newer systems it can bring the car to a complete stop if necessary.

That’s a far cry from true autonomous driving, however. Today’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems rely on the driver to stay alert and intervene if necessary.

“No car on the market today offers full automation or autonomy,” said the Euro NCAP report. Still, “More than 70% of car drivers believe that it is already possible to purchase a car that can drive itself,” the report said.

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