ADAS and keeping us safe

Posted on: 16 April 2018

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is the name given to advanced safety features on vehicles that can identify situations and take action without driver intervention.

This all sounds very futuristic, but anti-lock brakes and satellite navigation systems were some of the first examples of mass-market ADAS features, which now come standard in most vehicles. Usually first incorporated in higher-end models, eventually, these features become cheaper to manufacture and become more mainstream.

Adaptive cruise control

This technology maintains the speed of a vehicle on a bigger road. How this differs from conventional cruise control that ‘locks’ the speed of the car, adaptive cruise control will speed up and slow down depending on road conditions. The most recent models can even be used in stop-start traffic and auto-adjust their speed and acceleration on steep hills.

Lane departure warning

A variety of sensors make sure that the vehicle doesn’t leave it’s lane by accident. If the vehicle drifts, for any reason, the systems sound an alarm so the driver can make a correction to prevent an accident. Some systems go further (lane-keeping systems), and these actually make little corrections to correct lane drift without any driver input.

Adaptive light control

Adaptive lights are all about improving visibility at night. The system can detect the movement of the car and swivel and rotate the beams so the light is as close to where you need it as possible. Some lights will automatically dip a portion of the beam to not dazzle other road users, with no interaction from the driver.

Automatic braking

Although scary sounding, this is designed to take the deadly edge off a potentially devastating crash. Automatic braking can react quicker than us and engage the brake fully, which, in the event of a collision, while not avoiding the collision, could dramatically reduce the severity.

Collision avoidance

These use sensors to realise when a vehicle is in danger of colliding another object. When it does, it can take a series of preventative actions, like preparing the brakes and even the seatbelts for a potential impact.

There are many different examples of ADAS systems designed to keep us all safe on the roads. These are some of the most wide-spread that could be standard in your next vehicle.