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AAA Researchers Find Smart Cars Might Not Be As Smart As You Think

(File photo.  Credit: CBS 3)

(File photo. Credit: CBS 3)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New cars are smarter than ever with technology to help drivers avoid accidents. However, a study by AAA Mid-Atlantic finds there is still no substitute for an alert human behind the wheel.

“In critical situations, if the driver does not take action, autonomous breaking may take place as necessary.”

Advertisements, like this one from Mercedes-Benz, boast about the car’s ability to survey its surroundings with a cameras and radar and apply the breaks, if the driver doesn’t.

AAA spokeswoman Jenny Robinson says while these brake assist features are helpful, they should only be used as a backup plan.

“Those commercials for new cars look great,” she says. “It looks almost as if the car can drive itself, but we are a long way off from that.”

In testing, AAA researchers found that vehicles failed to spot pedestrians, motorcycles and other obstructions.

Robinson says automakers have noted system limitations in the owner’s manual, and it’s important for drivers to understand their car’s capabilities.

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