April 27, 2021 Blog

Why We Introduced Voluntary Driver Monitoring Safety Principles

The auto industry is on the cutting edge of technology, particularly when it comes to the never-before-seen safety features available in many vehicles now on the market. The lifesaving potential of these important safety technologies can be preserved and consumer acceptance of driving automation can be improved if we take important steps to help ensure that consumers use them properly. That’s why Auto Innovators has unveiled industry principles to address important safety aspects for driver monitoring systems for Level 2 vehicles in which both lane centering and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can be simultaneously engaged. Through these principles, automakers representing nearly 99 percent of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. have made a forceful and public statement concerning the importance of effective driver monitoring. It is critical that consumers learn and understand the benefits—and limitations—of these autos, so as to build and improve confidence in these proven safety technologies

You likely have driven or been in a car with this technology before. During long drives on the highway, it can be tremendously helpful to have your vehicle help center you in your lane while cruise control intuitively adjusts its speed to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Given how helpful this technology is and that the role driving automation and advanced safety features will continue to play in the future of the auto industry, Auto Innovators wanted to begin a public conversation about the importance of effective driver monitoring systems in vehicles with this advanced technology. 

High-profile crashes involving misuse and abuse of Level 2 systems is extremely dangerous. It also hurts consumer acceptance and confidence in vehicles with this technology. Moving forward, distrust of Level 2 systems may also impact consumer acceptance of highly automated vehicles and even more advanced safety features. This is a problem because those vehicles and features offer the chance to improve roadway safety – so long as they’re used as designed.

While Level 2 systems can help prevent crashes, the driver is still the most important factor. The bottom line is this: even with Level 2 systems, drivers must stay fully engaged in the driver’s seat and behind the steering wheel at all times. The principles we put forward will help ensure that drivers remain appropriately engaged when operating these systems while encouraging safe use of these advanced safety technologies moving forward.

The Level 2 driver monitoring principles were developed by Auto Innovators members and incorporate recommendations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Safety Transportation Board, Consumer Reports, and EuroNCAP.

The principles include consumer information, driver monitoring as a standard feature for Level 2 systems, driver warnings, re-engaging the driver, misuse and abuse, and camera-based systems. You can read more about each of these principles here.

While innovative new technologies continue to make the auto industry safer, smarter, and cleaner, these technological advancements must be used appropriately and responsibly to realize that vision. The release of Auto Innovators’ driver monitoring principles today is an effort to help ensure that outcome for Level 2 systems.