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A top auto safety group tested 14 partial automated systems — only one passed

Over-the-shoulder shot of a person using Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free driver-assistance technology, in a Cadillac Escalade.
Image: General Motors

Driverless cars keep running into roadblocks — and bicyclists — so automakers are doubling down on partially automated systems, betting that customers will appreciate the novelty and convenience of a bunch of features that steer, accelerate, and brake for them.

The industry insists these systems are safe; some executives even go so far as to call them safer than human driving. But a top consumer safety organization argues there is little evidence to support these claims.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a 65-year-old independent group that tests and evaluates new cars, released its first ranking system for partially automated systems. Overall, it tested 14 different systems. Eleven were rated poor, two were marginal,…

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