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My mentor at my first job had a saying "you can be a great engineer and design the safest equipment ever made, the problem is tomorrow they'll build a better idiot"
No, the "better idiot" has already been built and is ready to take the wheel of the safest equipment ASAP!
 

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There have been many crashes and fatalities attributed to both adaptive cruise and autopilot. Autopilot specifically has many reports of people sleeping or reading while it's engaged. There was a lot of demand for tesla to change the name but they refused, and as you said, I think the fine print protected them. There are supposedly failsafes in place in the car to make sure that the driver keeps their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road, but they are obviously easily defeated.









You are correct in assuming that I have never driven or even been in a vehicle with adaptive cruise, but that doesn't mean I'm not familiar with how it works. But my argument has nothing to do with how it works, my argument is solely with regard to how people interact with it. And I understand that adaptive cruise and Autopilot are not exactly the same, but I'm comparing them because both systems take some degree of vehicle control away from the driver.

And I'm sure you know as well as I do that Humans, as a rule, have a very short attention span, and if they no longer need to focus on maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them (as both adaptive cruise and autopilot manage this), they will quickly become bored and look for something else to do. As the links I provided above show (yes they are specific to autopilot), it clearly happens.

To expand on what I said before, I'm sure you are a more than competent driver, and knowing how the system works and what it's true intended purpose is, you will continue to keep your hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road and traffic around you. But I'm willing to bet you are the exception to the rule.

As for the totally inaccurate negatives on which I pontificate; if I am ignorant and wrong, then IIHS, NHTSA, AAA, and more must also be ignorant and wrong as they all investigated adaptive cruise systems and found similar things to what I am saying:
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"A more recent 2019 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that these systems make their drivers more vulnerable to a crash. Drivers assume they’re safer with it on, so they don’t pay close attention while driving. They put a little too much trust in their systems and don’t always fully understand it, outweighing the safety benefits. That study found that ACC and ACC with pilot assist make drivers nearly twice as likely to become distracted drivers, a sobering statistic indeed."

"Setting and forgetting means more time for your mind to wander away from focusing on the road"
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"The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers using adaptive cruise control (ACC) were more likely to set a target speed that was over the limit because of the perception that the system enhanced their safety.

"The research concluded that drivers using the technology were at a 10% higher risk of a fatal crash compared to manual drivers due to the faster cruising speeds selected."

NOTE: Admittedly I never included issues regarding speeding, but this shows that there's a correlation between ACC and increased crash risk.
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The attached report from the NHTSA investigated adaptive cruise control as well as the effectiveness of Forward Collision Warning systems to regain the attention of distracted drivers. They studied mild, moderate, and severe braking events and found that ACC helped in mild and moderate braking events but had no effect in severe braking situations.

"As a form of automation that offers relatively little feedback and operates with a high level of authority, ACC may ... undermine driving safety. In one simulator study, approximately one third of drivers were not successful in assuming control after the ACC had failed (Stanton et al., 1997). Distractions associated with cell phones and other in-vehicle
technology may exacerbate this effect by encouraging drivers to rely on vehicle automation and neglect the driving task."

"Another possible risk associated with ACC is that automating parts of the driving task will lead drivers to engage in more distracting tasks and to engage in those tasks more frequently."

I will admit that they also discuss the following:

"Drivers with ACC did not look away from the road any more frequently than drivers without ACC, nor did they engage the secondary task more rapidly. This result is consistent with recent field data that showed drivers did not increase the frequency with which they engaged in secondary tasks when they began using an ACC-equipped vehicle"

This would back up your personal experience that you did not become more easily distracted while using ACC. However they go on to explain that the way the study was conducted, the drivers were instructed to engage in the "secondary task" at certain specific points during the test. And that the braking event only occurred once the driver was engaged in the "secondary task", though not every "secondary task" triggered a braking event. So it's not really an accurate depiction of a driver becoming distracted.
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Please understand Henfield, I mean no disrespect and I don't want to cause an argument. I stated an opinion and later admitted that part of it was too harsh, I understand and accept your opinion that ACC is a useful tool and even acknowledged that in your case that may be absolutely true. The beautiful thing about opinions is that they can differ without either one being wrong; but since you specifically stated that I am ignorant and wrong I felt compelled to provide specific evidence that I'm not, but I also included evidence which supports your opinion.

I wish you all the best with your ACC equipped vehicles.

Edit: forgot to attach the NHTSA report
Thanks for all the research. I can see some truth to that, although so many drivers are speeding anyway that it's hard to believe that ACC increases it. Say the driver normally drives 75 in a 65 zone. They're saying that he (maybe even she) will now speed up to 80 just because he is going to invoke ACC. That doesn't seem highly likely to me. As I said before, I disengage (A)CC when I get into slower traffic. I do use it when traffic is moving at the speed limit, and occasionally notice I'm going 62 instead of 65 because someone is a little slower.

I only read the lawyer's article, but some of what they said was combining other aids (lane-keeping/steering, I assume) with ACC, so the conclusions aren't only about ACC. I thought about makers putting a limit on what ACC could be set at, maybe 80 MPH max. Some cars supposedly read speed limit signs, but my Accord can't read the fine print. It will read the proper speed limit, then show 55 which is the rarely-followed limit with trailers here. Some cars have such sophisticated navigation systems that they could be programmed to limit CC to e.g. 10 MPH over the speed limit--or the actual speed limit!!!
 

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2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Bighorn 4x4
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Even letting the adaptive cruise take the vehicle all the way to a stop behind another vehicle can be unnerving sometimes.

Full vehicle autonomy is probably 10-15 years out, just too many variables on the road namely much more adaptive yet unpredictable humans.
Whole heartedly agree, We are nowhere close to automated driving!
 
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Having just completed another 1900 mile round trip with Adaptive Cruise Control, I continue to be a fan of it.
But you need to be aware of its limitations, in the same way we all need to be aware of our personal limitations.
Tremendously reassuring to have a second pair of eyes.
An example of limitations is snow that accumulates on the radar sensors. Happened on Wednesday, but anticipated. Radar sensor had a half inch of snow on it when I pulled over to remove it.
 

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For those who think ACC leads to distracted driving, Tesla has decided to make that look like nothing. I get the idea that Musk is coming up with more and more ridiculous features just to tweak the noses of safety agencies and advocates!
Elon likes poking the bear and I like watching him do it. Seems most politicians are a bit nervous of him and for good reason.
 

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Having just completed another 1900 mile round trip with Adaptive Cruise Control, I continue to be a fan of it.
But you need to be aware of its limitations, in the same way we all need to be aware of our personal limitations.
Tremendously reassuring to have a second pair of eyes.
An example of limitations is snow that accumulates on the radar sensors. Happened on Wednesday, but anticipated. Radar sensor had a half inch of snow on it when I pulled over to remove it.
I've done two more of those runs, but this time with a F150 with adaptive cruise. Plus a third shorter run with trailer. Their ACC is a generation ahead of prior ACC's I've used. Plus it's customizable to the driver's preferences. Used the system in stop and go interstate traffic on i287 Nyack area. It's actually useful there to. Like everything, it's a tool, use it or not as you see fit.

FWIW, the V8 gave me a hand calculated 22.5mpg on most interstate with a best of 24.7 over one section of 550 miles, Winchester, Va to Boston. Wondering whether that's summer fuel or a crazy high number I'll never see again. I'll find out soon. Doing same run in two weeks.
 
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