A recent study used 22 different drivers on a test track to determine how hand over driving control worked for self-driving vehicles. Although drivers were given advanced warning of the changes taking place before they took control of the car, drivers did experience a period of adjustment in their steering after taking over control. Transitioning back to human control driving can be a very risky task, according to the results of this study about the steering wheel.

Although self-driving cars are not widely deployed as of yet, they are still in testing phases and many regulators believe they are essential for minimizing the number of accidents caused by human errors. The 15-second test course on the driving track indicated that drivers had trouble taking control of the vehicle when it was managed by the car first. Those drivers used the course 10 separate times while researchers changed driving conditions such as the steering wheel or speed, which could happen after a period of time when the autonomous car takes control.

The steering was changed to make it more sensitive for drivers and this kicks in at higher speeds. Less steering movement is needed to change lanes than when moving at lower speeds or when turning in heavy traffic. Many drivers were undershooting the steering wheel when it was necessary to complete their lane change.