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NHTSA Launches Self-Driving Car Education Website

CARS.COM — On Tuesday, the government announced new guidelines for self-driving car regulation, and today it’s launching a consumer education campaign. New cars are full of lifesaving safety technology, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many vehicle owners don’t understand what these features do or how best to use them. To remedy this, NHTSA launched a website dedicated to demystifying driver assistance technologies, the Automated Vehicles for Safety webpage.

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The need for such a resource is great because, as NHTSA explains on the new site, 94 percent of serious motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are due to dangerous choices or errors people make on the road. Automated driver assistance technologies work to help address these errors to save lives.

Aside from offering a snapshot of the evolution of autonomous driving technology, the site also explains the different systems and what they do. There are infographics and videos on preventing forward collisions, assisting with backing up and parking maneuvers, maintaining a safe distance and changing lanes safely.

A future of fully automated cars and trucks is a reality, says NHTSA, and understanding the building blocks of the technology will help consumers make better choices when it comes to buying vehicles with these features. One tool that should help is a widget that lists what recommended driver assistance technologies each vehicle offers; simply type your vehicle’s year, make and model into the system and it’ll provide an equipment list.

“The safe deployment of automated vehicle technologies means we can look forward to a future with fewer traffic fatalities and increased mobility for all Americans,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.