Self-driving cars may be decades away, but safety features common on Tesla and Toyota vehicles are already saving lives, a new Consumer Reports survey says

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderConsumer Reports highlighted Tesla and Toyota for making many ADAS features standard in their 2019 models.
  • Auto companies are already using some of the technology that will underpin self-driving cars to prevent accidents today, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.
  • The survey focused on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which include features that can alert drivers to vehicles or pedestrians around them, keep vehicles from drifting out of their lane, and apply the brakes to prevent or reduce the severity of a collision.
  • According to survey responses on around 72,000 vehicles, 57% of respondents said at least one ADAS feature had prevented a collision for their vehicle.
  • Respondents said blind-spot warning, which uses visual or audible signals to alert drivers about vehicles that are outside of their immediate field of vision, was the most effective ADAS feature, as 60% said it had helped prevent a crash.
  • Consumer Reports highlighted Tesla and Toyota for making many ADAS features standard on their 2019 models.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Self-driving cars will significantly reduce accidents by eliminating human error, according to experts and companies developing autonomous-driving technology. But full autonomy, which would allow a car to drive anywhere without human supervision, is likely years, if not decades, away.

Despite the challenges of refining autonomous-driving systems, auto companies are already using some of the technology that will underpin them to prevent accidents today, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.


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The survey focused on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which include features that can alert drivers to vehicles or pedestrians around them, keep vehicles from drifting out of their lane, and apply the brakes to prevent or reduce the impact of a collision. According to survey responses on around 72,000 vehicles, 57% of respondents said at least one ADAS feature had prevented a collision for their vehicle.

Respondents said blind-spot warning, which uses visual or audible signals to alert drivers about vehicles that are outside of their immediate field of vision, was the most effective ADAS feature, as 60% said it had helped prevent a crash.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents said rear cross-traffic warning and rear automatic emergency braking, which alert drivers to vehicles and pedestrians behind them and apply the brakes to avoid collisions, had helped prevent a crash, and 47% said the same about forward-collision warning and front automatic emergency braking, which serve the same functions for objects and vehicles in front of a car.

The findings from the Consumer Reports survey align with a study released this month by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which found that cars with ADAS features were around 25%-50% less likely to be involved in some kinds of accidents than those without them.

Consumer Reports highlighted Tesla and Toyota for making many ADAS features standard on their 2019 models. Twenty automakers have promised to make automatic emergency braking standard on their vehicles by 2022, though some, like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, don’t include it as a standard feature on any of their 2019 model-year vehicles, according to Consumer Reports.

Read Consumer Reports’ full story here ยป

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