It’s not good news for motorcyclists who are already largely unseen by motorists.
And as more and more tech is included in cars, it could get worse, says study lead author Eric Greenlee, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Texas Tech.
“The bottom line is, until automated driving systems are completely reliable and can respond in all situations, the driver must stay alert and be prepared to take over,” he says.
“These vehicles have a lot to offer, but we’re a long way from being able to detect everything going on,” the researchers say.
“Until that day comes, we hope this research will raise awareness about the limitations of automated cars and their operators.”
However, a 2017 US report by a motorcycle industry panel, cleverly called Give a Shift, says automated vehicles could kill off motorcycling.
“There is a “very real risk of motorcycling being completely cut out of the conversation for future vehicle infrastructure systems,” the group concludes in its report.
“As this (autonomous vehicles) technology grows, contemporary motorcycles will be even further elevated into higher risk categories in the eyes of traffic systems technologies, insurance companies, city planners and autonomous vehicle manufacturers who currently own and direct the conversation.
“The panel feels strongly that the single biggest threat to motorcycling overall (particularly in urban and higher density environments) will be the incompatibility between autonomous vehicles and existing motorcycles.”
The group says the technology will push self-operated vehicles such as motorcycles “out of the transportation matrix”.