'Driver Assists' YouTube channel debuts at Los Angeles Auto Show

(November 27, 2012) WASHINGTON — To highlight the growing popularity of a new class of auto technologies called "Driver Assists," automakers today launched a new YouTube channel in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens on Nov. 30. The YouTube channel is the first part of a consumer campaign to highlight the benefits of Driver Assist technologies.

"This is the next generation of 'gotta have it' auto technology, and when people see the systems in action, they are amazed," said Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO, Auto Alliance.  "More than 90 percent of crashes involve driver error of some kind, so automakers created a range of driver assist systems that aid the driver for brief periods of time to help avoid an accident."

Driver Assist systems include lane departure and blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, active headlights, telematics control systems, parking assists and more.  These systems will be on display at the LA Auto Show and consumers can see how they work on www.YouTube.com/DriverAssists

About 6 out of 10 consumers (66%) are interested in getting one of these technologies when they next purchase a vehicle, according to an Auto Alliance opinion poll of 5000 consumers.

There are three types of Driver Assists. Warning and alert systems show a visual warning or sound an alarm or vibrate the steering wheel (or even seats) to alert the driver to take action, while active controls actually manage vehicle systems for fractions of seconds in emergencies, like electronic stability control that activates faster than a driver could act. 

Almost half of consumers (44%) favor the driving alerts while about a third (34%) favor active systems that steer, slow down or brake the car automatically in emergencies.  Driver assist systems may also be controls and vision aides, like integrated in-vehicle telematics systems, cameras or night vision, to help you drive better in all kinds of situations.

While these technologies and other Driver Assist options will culminate at some point in the future in autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles, consumers today are more comfortable with driving alerts or systems that control the vehicle for seconds at a time.

Additional polling results indicate consumers are concerned about driving challenges that can be addressed by Driver Assists:

    • 65% say that erratic drivers on the road are their biggest driving concerns.
    • 58% of respondents said there was a time in the last month when another driver cut in from of them, forcing them to stomp on their brakes.
    • When asked what driving situation is most challenging, answers included cars cutting in front of you (35%), stop-and-go traffic (24%), crowded highways (22%) and pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes (12%).
    • The parking situations that were listed as most challenging included parallel parking (35%), backing in or out of parking spots (19%), pedestrians in parking lots (16%) and getting too close to parking lot ramp walls or other structures (12%).

"Cars are evolving to meet the changing nature of lifestyles and a range of environmental, societal and environmental challenges, and mobility is more than alive and well. Its future is vibrant – a powerful economic engine here in the United States and a central force for personal freedom.   And every time a new car replaces an old vehicle, the world becomes a far cleaner and more fuel-efficient planet," said Bainwol.