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Testimony & Letters

Explainer: Driver-Assist Tech is Not an Autonomous Vehicle

It's critical for Americans to understand: driver-assist technology is not the same as an autonomous vehicle (AV)

Conflation between driver-assist and AVs (even unintentionally) damages consumers' understanding of two distinct technologies. If American consumers don't understand the difference, that actually increases safety risks from the misuse of driver-assist. In turn, the misuse of driver-assist leads to greater confusion and potential concerns, jeopardizing the future of AVs to enable significant safety and mobility benefits. AVs open up a new era of safety and mobility beyond what is possible with driver-assist systems like Tesla's Autopilot.

Going forward, the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association urges policymakers, journalists and other stakeholders to clearly delineate between driver-assist and autonomous vehicles. Though both can offer an opportunity to improve road safety, AVs and driver-assist are two completely different technologies with totally different capabilities, uses, experiences, business models and target consumers.

Driver assist technology is not an AV

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