‘Mode Confusion’ Vexes Drivers, Carmakers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun the process of defining what safety is for fully autonomous vehicles, but crash investigators at the National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) think NHTSA is getting too far ahead of technology and skipping over a more immediate peril. As carmakers continue adding semi-automated features to vehicles, they are likely to trigger “mode confusion” for drivers — an emerging issue little-discussed in the automotive industry, but well-known in aviation.