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UK insurance body Thatcham is calling for all new cars to be fitted with a warning light alerting motorists to when driver assistance tech isn’t working as it should.

Advanced driver assistance systems (or ADAS for short) have quickly become an integral part of all new cars, with autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist now being a given on most new models. Others include adaptive cruise control, cross traffic assist and lane-change assist.

However, Thatcham is calling for manufacturers to introduce a uniform warning signal to alert of any failures or problems with these ADAS features – something that’s not available currently. Most cars with such systems will alert you via a warning message of such issues – usually in bad weather conditions where sensors and radars have limited vision.

However, unlike other issues – such as airbag and engine faults – these don’t have a set warning light.

Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham, told Autocar that they were lobbying to change this.

“What we’re asking for is a standardised warning light o that, for whatever reason, if any sort of ADAS system has reduced performance or functionality… there is a light – like you would get if your ABS or your airbag had a problem – that says ‘go and get it looked at’.”

Thatcham is asking for both improvements to safety and security, and has been outspoken on models claiming to be ‘autonomous’ in the past – largely because the organisation says there needs to be more clarity about how these ADAS systems work, and the need for a driver to always remain in control of the vehicle.

Ted Welford

By

March 9, 2020

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