NHTSA launches video series educating public on vehicle safety technologies

NHTSA on Monday launched a series of videos demonstrating to the public how to properly use advanced driver-assistance systems and the benefits of those safety technologies currently available on today’s vehicles.

The five videos — hosted by Jason Fenske, a mechanical engineer who runs the Engineering Explained YouTube channel — provide an overview of driver-assist systems including blind-spot warning and forward-collision warning, as well as newer features such as rear automatic braking, blind-spot intervention, lane-keeping assistance and automatic high beams.

“Understanding what advanced driver-assistance technologies can and cannot do for the driver is critical to everyone’s safety,” Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator, said in a statement. “We’re providing the driving public with knowledge about the safety benefits of these technologies.”

NHTSA said the campaign builds on its New Car Assessment Program, a five-star rating system that provides comparative information on the safety and performance of new vehicles to help consumers with purchasing decisions. The videos will run through Sept. 29.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade association representing most major automakers in the U.S., urged NHTSA last month to update the ratings program by including new and advanced safety features and technologies.

The alliance, which does not represent Tesla, also said it supports providing driver monitoring as a standard feature on vehicles equipped with driver-assist systems.

“We communicate directly, indirectly, openly through various coalitions that education — public education — is very important in terms of understanding the limitations, capabilities and, honestly, use of these technologies,” Cem Hatipoglu, NHTSA’s associate administrator for vehicle safety research, told Automotive News.

“Collectively, there’s more work to be done,” he added.

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