September 13, 2023

Newer vehicles today are packed with sensors and technology. This includes a group of features known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (or ADAS), that aim to help drivers better react to danger on the road and partially automate the driving task. So how are drivers today actually handling all this new tech? Are we beginning to see safety benefits? Dr. Bryan Reimer sat down for an episode of the "Wednesdays with Woodward" webinar series, hosted by the Travelers Institute, as he shared insights from MIT’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Consortium, which studies real-life drivers in and around New England operating some of today’s most tech-forward vehicle models.  Travelers’ Personal Insurance Vice President Amanda Mezerewski got into the conversation as well for a deep dive on the state of ADAS, its safety benefits, limitations, consumer understanding, and more.

Dr. Reimer noted that drivers can be unsure of what exactly their responsibilities include when ADAS are involved: “Perhaps we need to move away from global terminology that has been focused on levels of automation toward simplified terms. For example, I am ‘driving,’ and I am responsible for all the aspects of vehicle control and safe mobility. Or I am ‘riding,’ much like the yesteryears of being a passenger, and I am not responsible for anything at that given point in time.” He emphasized that while automation is effective at decreasing harm on the road, the most critical safety feature in every vehicle is still the driver.

Read a summary of the webinar or watch the recording here.