Mobility & Transportation

What is ADAS — how does it work?

November 10, 2021
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is a technology embedded in semi-autonomous vehicles to facilitate safe driving

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is a technology embedded in semi-autonomous vehicles to facilitate safe driving. It is a combination of systems that captures potential safety hazards and either takes control of the navigation or alerts drivers. It helps in averting accidents and also reduces the impact of an accident if it is unavoidable. ADAS is an essential feature to correct human mistakes while driving caused by inattentiveness or erroneous inputs. It ensures the safety of passengers, drivers, other vehicles on the road, and pedestrians.

How does ADAS work?

Passive safety features have been playing an active role in safer automobiles for quite some time. However, most of those features such as an anti-lock braking system, airbags, shatter-resistant glass, etc. are more apt when an accident has already taken place. ADAS, on the other hand, works to avert the accident in the first place. It uses sensors such as radar, lidar and cameras to grasp the environment, and alerts the driver of the situation. The cameras, installed at multiple locations outside the vehicle, capture images of various objects — other vehicles, pedestrians, immobile hurdles — and traffic information such as road blockage, congestion levels, etc. Equipped with the information, it either guides the driver or takes control of the navigation.

Applications of ADAS

Some of the most common applications of ADAS are:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control: External sensors collect information on the position of the surrounding vehicles and help in maintaining optimum speed and inter-vehicular distance to avert collision.
  • Automatic Parking: Backup cameras make parallel parking a much easier task.
  • Navigation System: ADAS informs the drivers via on-screen instructions and voice notes about the traffic situation and suggests routes to follow to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Lane-keeping and Departure Warnings: The system warns the driver in cases of lane departure. Its power steering features help in keeping to a lane.
  • Adaptive Light Control and Night Vision: ADAS adapts the vehicle’s headlights to external lights. The sensors take control during low visibility at night or adverse weather conditions and allow the driver a clear vision of otherwise invisible objects.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring: Every time the driver is unable to detect an object at a blind spot, ADAS sensors chip in through alarm sounds.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking: If the driver is about to hit another vehicle or any other object, the automatic emergency braking system takes over to avert the collision.
  • Driver Monitoring System: Camera sensors are capable of capturing the driver’s attention and alert with noises, vibrations in the steering wheel, or flashing lights. The sensors are even capable of detecting driver drowsiness.

Road accidents are one of the most common causes for death, worldwide, and human error is one of the primary reasons behind it. A system that reduces such accidents is crucial, making ADAS one of the most important features in semi-autonomous vehicles today. And with an eye on fully autonomous cars to hit the roads soon, ADAS will have a major role to play in the future of the automotive sector.

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