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Fleets, leasing firms and dealers urged to train drivers on ADAS

Training fleet drivers at vehicle handover could ensure that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are used correctly, making them a road safety benefit and not a potential hazard.

IAM says manufacturers and dealers should provide training on ADAS features at handover but lease companies and fleet managers should also ensure the new features are fully understood

The call comes from IAM RoadSmart on the back of a report by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) entitled ‘How to maximize the road safety benefits of ADAS’.

ADAS features include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking systems, lane keeping assist and driver monitoring for drowsiness and distraction recognition – and many will become mandatory in new vehicles from July 2022.

But the FIA report says awareness and understanding of these systems is generally low among drivers – and most do not receive any training.

Instead, drivers turn to the user manual and apply a ‘trial-and-error’ method. And IAM says this could have potentially worrying consequences for all road users.

Now, the road safety charity is calling on car manufacturers, dealers and leasing companies to ensure drivers taking new vehicles are given education when vehicles are supplied.

Neil Greig, director of policy & research, said: “There needs to be a much higher emphasis on educating drivers in the best use of technology. Vehicle manufacturers and car dealerships are key, ensuring that when a customer drives off the forecourt they understand and use the various safety systems correctly.”

The FIA report, which is being backed by IAM, calls for a comprehensive explanation to end-users of the systems’ limitations, more consistently accurate functioning of ADAS in practice and the introduction of fail-safe communications to alert users if any of the systems fail.

Neil Greig also called on leasing firms to step up but stopped short of calls made by other driver training firms for this sector to get involved too.

However, he did agree with pleas for fleet managers to get involved in training.

“Lease companies and fleet managers should also ensure that the new features on the cars they give to staff are fully understood,” said Greig. “Driver training companies can provide a more comprehensive back up but it is important that drivers know about assistance system from the moment they start their first journey and that is best done at handover.”

And he says the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and driving instructors should include a comprehensive lesson for motorists on how to use ADAS.

In the meantime, IAM adds that it’s looking at other interim solutions.

“Until this becomes the norm, IAM RoadSmart is exploring the potential for video tutorials that will plug the current gap,” Greig continued.

To access the FIA report on ‘How to maximize the road safety benefits of ADAS’, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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