A study commissioned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that automobile drivers are 24% more likely to speed when using the adaptive cruise control (ACC) feature on their car.
While the study didn’t look at motorcycles equipped with the feature (currently the Ducati Multistrada V4 is the only bike available in the United States with the feature), one can presume a similar trend for the technology in a two-wheeled application.
Sampling a little over 40 drivers in the Boston area, over a four-week period, the IIHS found that when using the adaptive cruise control, 95% of these drivers exceeded the speed limit, versus the 77% who did so without the ACC engaged.
While the increase in thew number of speeders is around 24%, the margin by which one speeds while using ACC versus driving the car themselves is rather small – just over 1 mph.
“Compared with manual driving, the increase in speed associated with ACC/Pilot Assist use was estimated to increase crash risk by 10 percent for fatal crashes, by 4 percent for injury crashes, and by 3 percent for property-damage-only crashes,” the study concluded.
The study went on to find that drivers were more likely to speed when the posted speed limit was 55 mph (+8 mph), compared to when the speed limit was 60 mph or 65 mph (+5 mph).
However, when using ACC in a 55 mph zone, drivers tended to only exceed the speed limit by an average of 1 mph, showing a pretty stark difference in the intentions of drivers when using ACC and not.
While the results of the study are certainly interesting, the conclusions that they bring are correlative, at best. It will be interesting to see the effect that ACC has on the motorcycle industry, as the technology becomes more prevalent over time.
We suspect that technologies like adaptive cruise control, lane-centering, and brake-assist will fundamentally change how users drive.
Of course, it is only a matter of time until driving oneself is passé. What will the motorcycle industry look like on that day?