According to official statistics, there were 70 accidents involving construction trucks and cars in the first 10 months of this year. Of the 70, 31 had driver-assist systems installed in their vehicles and most were relatively new cars.
This past April, the driver of this white Tesla failed to pull over for the police and ended up crashing into the patrol car. According to police, the accident was caused by the driver-assist system, which the driver had turned on because he was sleepy. Thirty-one of the 70 freeway accidents involving a construction truck and a car reported in the first 10 months of the year involved cars with driver-assist systems.
Hsu Fu-sheng, Section Chief, Traffic Management Division, Freeway Bureau: “Of course, we don't have direct evidence proving that the driver-assist systems of these cars were on and the drivers weren't paying attention. However, this ratio shows that driver-assist systems could be an issue.”
There are six types of situations when automatic braking systems don't activate in time, including when the difference in speed with the car directly in front of you is too high, when the car directly in front of you is not moving, when going up and down slopes, when making turns, when the car in front of you is not driving in the middle of the lane, when a car switches lanes suddenly, when the car in front of you makes a sudden turn, and also unusual situations involving cars and motorcycles and unusual weather.
Hsu Fu-sheng, Section Chief, Traffic Management Division, Freeway Bureau: “Driver-assist systems don't make a car self-driving. The systems currently available in Taiwan are not capable of self-driving, so drivers still have to pay attention to road conditions at all times.”
The Freeway Bureau says drivers should remain fully engaged when driving and not be overreliant on driver assist systems. In addition, taking your hands off the wheel is punishable by fines of NT$6,000 to NT$24,000 and a six-month license suspension. If an accident is caused by a driver taking his hands off the wheel, his license will be permanently revoked.