Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), are electronic systems that help the vehicle driver while driving or during parking.
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), are electronic systems that help the vehicle driver while driving or during parking.
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ADAS Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), explained

Author / Editor: Jamie Thomson / Erika Granath

As our roads become busier, driving carries increasing risks. Luckily, technology comes to our aid with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). These systems help drivers with tasks like monitoring, warning, braking, and steering and they’re expected to grow in popularity over the next decade.

According to a recent survey conducted by the road safety charity, Brake, one in five UK drivers experience road rage at least once a week, and two million experience it every day.

Every driver faces hazards on the road. Traffic has never been busier, road congestion is at its highest and drivers are more stressed than ever. Driving on today’s roads is riskier than it’s ever been.

However, according to a recent study carried out by AXA insurance, just a 1.5 second warning can prevent 90 percent of collisions. And that’s where Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) come in. They deliver a two-second warning to drivers as obstacles approach, alerting them to hazards such as pedestrians, lane changes, and short braking distances.

Currently, over 90 percent of collisions are caused by human error and as autonomous vehicles start to gain pace, ADAS will come to play an increasing role in reducing vehicle accidents.

Here are some of the ways that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems currently alert drivers to hazards on the road:

Front collision warnings

According to a report published by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, a forward collision warning could reduce 35 percent of near-crash events under fog conditions.

As a car travels, its Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) scans the road ahead and calculates the current braking distance between the car in front.

When a driver gets too close to another car, the system creates an alert, encouraging the driver to slow down and to create more distance. If the car is traveling at a high speed, the driver has enough time to perform an emergency stop and avoid colliding with the vehicle in front.

Lane departure warnings

An analysis conducted over a period of six years by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that lane departure warning systems reduced injury crashes by 21 percent. Essentially, lane departure systems alert the driver when they’re about to veer out of their lane.

There are several variations of the technology and the most advanced systems enable the car to take control and steer away from the lane edge, without human interaction. These ADAS work using a camera that’s mounted on the vehicle’s windshield that constantly processes the lane markings on the road ahead.

For an overview of how lane detection systems work, check out this video from the IIHS:

Pedestrian detection

Pedestrian detection systems alert the driver when a pedestrian or a cyclist enters the path of a vehicle. Some systems also apply the brakes automatically.

Cameras are mounted behind the rearview mirror and they work by using advanced sensors to detect movements in the road ahead.

These systems work best at lower speeds below 40 km/h (25mph) and recent advancements of the technology include the use of infrared cameras to detect movements in the dark.

Preventing driver fatigue

Fatigue detection systems use an infrared camera that points directly to the driver’s face. The camera is mounted on the dashboard to give a full view of the driver’s face without impairing their vision.

The camera processes the driver’s facial movements and looks for signs of fatigue like a yawn, closed eyes, or a dropping head. When detected, the system then alerts the driver with a loud audible alert.

For an introduction to facial recognition systems in cars, take a look at this video from EXEROS Technologies:

In short, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems make our roads safer. They can reduce collisions and ultimately save lives.

In the short-term, they can also make us better drivers. Rather than resigning our safety to technology in its entirety, ADAS are more likely to increase our awareness and encourage us to be safer drivers through behaviour change.

As autonomous vehicles take to our roads, ADAS will play a key role in ensuring their safety. According to manufacturing services company, Jabil, 36 percent of automotive companies say ADAS are a key element of their automotive visions.