Skip to main content

AAA pushes for standardized names and definitions for driver assistance tech

Now that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are commonplace, automotive manufacturers should standardize the names and definitions of the various technologies involved, an AAA report recommends.

The American Automobile Association study found that the bewildering array of ADAS marketing names leaves consumers confused about the differences among systems and what the features are supposed to do.

As evidence for the extent of consumer confusion, AAA cites its September 2018 study that found drivers had too much faith in systems such as adaptive cruise control. Two months later, in November 2018, the consumer group reported the disturbing results of another study based on ADAS technology naming.

In its November report, AAA found that 40 percent of consumers believed fully autonomous cars were already available and traveling on U.S. roads. The study mentioned specific concerns with ADAS systems called PilotAssist, ProPILOT, and AutoPilot, which some consumers believed gave vehicles self-driving capability.

AAA continues its active role in advocating for consumers who are barraged with names and claims by car, truck, and SUV brands that tout the safety and convenience of features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

In the full report of its recent study, AAA proposed a list of standardized names and definitions for some of the most common driver assistance tech. For example, AAA listed the three most prevalent ADAS features, which were automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. Those features were standard equipment on 30.6 percent, 13.9 percent, and 11. 8 percent of 2018 models, respectively.

AAA found 40 unique marketing names for automatic emergency braking, 19 different names for lane keeping assistance, and 20 names for adaptive cruise control.

For those three ADAS features, AAA suggested the following standardized names and definitions.

Forward Automatic Emergency Braking: Detects potential collisions while traveling forward and automatically applies brakes to avoid or lessen the severity of impact.

Lane Keeping Assistance: Controls steering to maintain vehicle within driving lane. May prevent vehicle from departing lane or continually center vehicle.

Adaptive Cruise Control: Controls acceleration and/or braking to maintain a prescribed distance between it and a vehicle in front. May be able to come to a stop and continue.

The full AAA report includes suggested standardized names and definitions for a wide range of ADAS features. While the AAA suggestions have no legislative or regulatory imperative, the point that such standardization could improve road safety when consumers have accurate and realistic expectations of driver assistance features is well-taken.

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
Tesla Autopilot vs. full self-driving: What’s the difference?
A Telsa Model 3 drives along a road.

It's no longer the only company with self-driving cars on the road, but Tesla was one of the first brands to make this innovative functionality available to the public. Thanks to an array of cameras, sensors, and AI technology, most Telsa vehicles are capable of driving themselves to some degree. However, this doesn't mean drivers can take a nap behind the wheel. In fact, none can be used without driver supervision -- and there are some serious limitations to the tech.

Tesla currently offers features known as Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving. But what's the difference between the two? And is one more reliable than the other? Here's everything you need to know about Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technology.
Tesla Autopilot

Read more
2025 Chevrolet Bolt: rumored price, release date, design, and more
A Chevy Volt parked on the beach.

It looks like the Bolt isn't dead after all. Only a few months after Chevrolet announced that it would be killing the Bolt EV, the company reversed course and said that the Bolt will live on. And, finally, we have a few more details about what will likely remain one of the cheapest EVs in its next iteration.

That's not to say it'll ever be the same again, though. On the contrary, Chevrolet says that it'll be releasing a new-and-improved second generation of the Bolt that'll be built on General Motors' Ultium platform. In other words, it might end up being a whole lot better than the already great-value current-generation Bolt -- which will be super helpful in helping make for higher-quality cheap EVs.

Read more
The 4 best pressure washers for cars in 2024
A man washes his truck with the Westinghouse ePX3100v Electric Pressure Washer.

Whether you do your driving with an off-road vehicle, one of the most impressive EVs on the road, or anything in between, the driving experience can be made all the better by knowing you look good doing so. Keeping your vehicle clean isn’t always the easiest chore, nor is it something everyone likes to do. You can make shorter work of it with a pressure washer, and with warmer weather around the corner we decided to round up the best pressure washers for cars in 2024.
The best pressure washers for cars in 2024

Buy the

Read more