• Transportation Efficiencies
  • Automated Vehicles
  • Automated Driving Systems
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The Other Side of the Automated Vehicle Coin: Confronting the Challenges

Oct 23, 2018


The technology involved in vehicle automation goes by many names—automated vehicle (AV), automated driving systems, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Each of these can be broken down into services and levels of autonomy (thanks to the Society of Automotive Engineers). With over $80 billion invested since 2014 and the ever-closer horizon of these technologies, discussions often focus on the positives—how individuals, companies, and society stand to benefit. And, perhaps more selfishly, people wonder when they will be able to nap in my car on their way to work. 

ADAS Are Changing How Drivers Assess Safety 

Unfortunately, safely dozing off in a AV on the way to work is not something we can look forward to any time soon. However, there are other ADASs increasingly available on the market for both personal and commercial vehicles. These systems are gradually changing the way society views personal driving responsibilities. They also improve safety, increase efficiency, make the driving task easier, and save money. 

Are the Benefits Worth the Costs? 

With exciting potential benefits, people often overlook the discussion around the challenges of these technologies expanding into the market. Stakeholders, like the OEMs, drivers, businesses, and policymakers have several challenges to confront as follows: 

  • Sometimes drivers are over reliant on or overestimate the capabilities of current ADAS. Many of these systems are not yet sophisticated enough to monitor and react to the entirety of a dynamic road environment. Vehicles with systems like adaptive cruise control and automatic lane centering may give the impression of a system capable of monitoring everything a driver can, lulling the driver into a false sense of security. This blog post by fellow analyst Sam Abuelsamid discusses AVs and their uncanny valley problem. This may lead users to feel safe to disregard the rest of their remaining driving responsibilities.
  • Alternatively, the public is quick to judge when automated systems fail and can negatively affect the advancement of the industry. Whether fair or not, there is a perception that automated systems will perform flawlessly. Following the first death caused by an AV, the AAA recorded a drop in public confidence.
  • Integrating AVs into driving cultures will also be a challenge. Many drivers now sharing the road with AVs have begun voicing frustration with their cautious and defensive driving style.
  • Integration will also require navigating the narrative of automation displacing workers versus an increasingly constrained supply of truck drivers. 
    These are just some of the challenges that stakeholders need to confront and continue to discuss as automated systems develop and make market inroads. 

These are just some of the challenges that stakeholders need to confront and continue to discuss as automated systems develop and make market inroads.