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Your Next Car May Let You Drive Hands-Free. Is That a Good Thing?


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A driver tests a 2021 Cadillac Escalade SUV with Super Cruise hands-free driving assistance.

Automakers are starting to sell cars with automated steering and speed control.

Credit: General Motors/Reuters

More automakers are installing automated steering and speed control in more vehicles, using sensors, radar, and cameras to keep the car centered, control speed, and change lanes.

General Motors, for instance, plans to offer the technology in about two dozen models by 2023, while Ford Motor Co. plans to include it in as many as 100,000 F-150 pickup trucks and Mustang Mach-E electric sport-utility models beginning next year.

A Consumer Reports test of 17 systems that combine automated steering and speed control show that they can ease driver fatigue.

However, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Bryan Reimer said, "If we're going to put this technology on cars, we need to be mindful of ensuring the driver is reasonably engaged."

Researchers have praised the use of camera-based systems by GM and BMW to alert drivers if their attention strays, and Ford and others plan to offer it in future models.

From The Wall Street Journal
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