If you have shopped for a new vehicle in Maryland in the last couple of years, you might have seen vehicles that feature interesting new safety technologies. You might even have taken one of these vehicles for a test drive. The idea that technology can help people drive more safely and avoid accidents is certainly enticing. However, it is important for people to be educated about the true capabilities of these systems.
As explained by The Drive, features that automatically apply the brakes, detect objects in a driver's blind spot or alert drivers to a potentially unintended lane departure are referred to as driver assist features. That term deserves special attention, especially the inclusion of the word "assist". Some experts fear that people might start considering these features all but replacements for themselves but, in reality, they are only aids meant to adjunct the human driver's actions.
If drivers who operate vehicles with these driver assist technologies in them become too reliant on them, they could be putting themselves and others on the road in danger. There is a distinct difference between a vehicle that has some safety aid features and a fully autonomous vehicle designed to operate without any human interaction except in very select situations.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents and drivers in Maryland some information about how new vehicle technologies might be helping them stay safe and how these technologies might provide new risks to them.