The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teamed up earlier this month, with a popular YouTube personality in an effort to educate the public about the new driver assistance safety systems, that are starting to show up in more and more new vehicles. 

Engineering Explained is a YouTube channel featuring videos from mechanical engineer Jason Fenske, in which he explains various aspects of how motor vehicles work. With over three million subscribers, the channel sees a lot of traffic and has a substantial audience base. 

In the collaborative campaign with the NHTSA, Fenske will demonstrate the lifesaving potentials of a number of advanced driver assistance systems, including Blind Spot Intervention systems, Automatic High Beams, and Lane Keeping Assistance systems, in videos that will stream on his channel. 

According to NHTSA Acting Administrator,  Dr. Steven Cliff, “Understanding what advanced driver assistance technologies can and cannot do for the driver is critical to everyone’s safety. We’re providing the driving public with knowledge about the safety benefits of these technologies. We need to ensure that our transportation systems are safe for everyone.”

The videos will be available on the Engineering Explained YouTube channel, as well as on the NHTSA’s website, and there will be a media buy of ads that are slated to run through September of 2021. 

New Technology Facing Skepticism in the U.S.

This campaign comes at a time when automated driving technology is having a difficult time gaining the trust of many Americans. Multiple polls have shown that Americans are reluctant to trust the safety of automated vehicles, and some of the new technologies associated with them. 

In a recent survey conducted by the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education assessing the feelings towards automated vehicles of 1,200 American adults, 48% of those surveyed reported that they “would never get in a taxi or ride-share vehicle that was being driven autonomously.” Additionally, 58% of those asked believe there will be safe autonomous vehicles available in a decade, but 20% responded that they believed these vehicles will never be safe. 

Only about a third of the people surveyed believe that the benefits of autonomous vehicles outweigh the potential negative impacts. But, the survey results suggest that what is missing in the widespread public acceptance of autonomous vehicles is education and experience. 

60% of those asked said they would trust autonomous vehicles more if they had a better understanding of how they worked, and 58% replied that would have more trust in these vehicles with they could experience riding in one for themselves.

Further Reading: National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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