Recent advances in technology mean cars now have the option to come with a vast array of smart technology options that make driving easier and safer, easily available at the driver’s fingertips or voice commands.
With the likes of Vauxhall OnStar and Mercedes-Benz Driving Assistance Packages, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are commonplace in the automotive market. So what kind of things are available today and how do they assist in your day-to-day driving?
1. Adaptive Cruise Control
This technology is particularly useful on long journeys and motorways. Where drivers otherwise would have to constantly monitor their cruise control systems for safety reasons, adaptive cruise control will automatically slow down or speed up your vehicle in response to the actions of the vehicle ahead of you. Most of these systems automatically shut off below a certain speed threshold, but some can even be used in traffic.
2. Adaptive Light Control
These systems are designed to help drivers see further and more clearly in the dark. It allows the headlights to swivel and rotate to better illuminate the roadway around bends and in other situations, such as when approaching a roundabout.
3. Automatic Braking
This damage limitation technology is designed to reduce the severity of high speed collisions in the event of driver distraction. While some automatic braking systems can actually prevent a collision, they’re more typically designed to slow the vehicle to the point where less damage is caused and the likelihood of fatalities is minimised.
4. Automatic Parking
These systems can vary massively, but most are designed to help a driver parallel park through advice and prompts of when to turn the steering wheel and when to stop. However, some can even perform the entire job automatically.
5. Blind Spot Detection
This technology uses a variety of sensors to provide the driver with vital information that would be difficult, or even impossible, to achieve by any other means. Some of these systems will sound an alarm when there is an object in a blind spot, and others include cameras in order to provide the driver with a live image of the unseen object.
6. Collision Avoidance Systems
These use a variety of sensors to determine whether a vehicle is in danger of colliding with another object. They can, by design, detect the proximity of other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and various other obstructions. If the vehicle is in danger of colliding with another object, the system will warn the driver, and some can even take other preventative actions such as pre-charging the brakes or apply tension to the seat belts.
7. Driver Drowsiness Detection
Driver drowsiness or awareness detection systems use a number of different methods to determine if a driver’s attention levels are waning. Some of these systems detect when the driver’s head nods in a motion that indicated drowsiness, while others use technology similar to lane detection warning systems.
8. Hill Descent Control
This is an ADAS that makes it easier to descend steep inclines by activating the brakes to automatically slow the vehicle. Some of these systems allow the speed to be modified via the cruise control system, and they can typically be overridden by pressing the brake or the accelerator.
9. Intelligent Speed Adaption
This ADAS depends on a variety of information to assist a driver in maintaining a legal speed. Since these systems monitor the current speed and compare it with the local speed limit, they only work in certain areas where they can access the relevant information.
10. Lane Departure Warning Systems
These systems use a variety of sensors to make sure that the vehicle doesn’t leave its current lane accidentally. If the system determines that the vehicle is drifting it will sound an alarm to warn the driver so they can take corrective action. Some systems also cause the steering wheel to vibrate as an additional warning. Lane Keeping Systems go a step further than this and are capable of taking small corrective actions without any driver input.
11. Night Vision
Night Vision systems allow drivers to see things that would otherwise be difficult for the driver to make out in the dark. There are a number of different useful implementations, all of which are broken down in to categories of ‘active’ or ‘passive’. ‘Active’ night vision systems project infrared light, while ‘passive’ systems rely on the thermal energy emanating from cars, animals, and other objects.
With the implementation of some of these amazing technologies comes certain other complications you must consider. For example, when changing the tyres on your vehicle, certain ADAS components, such as adaptive headlights and parking cameras, will require adjusting to account for the new tyre pressure.
Similarly, when taking your car abroad to a country that drives on the right-hand side of the road, headlight and blind spot sensor components will need to be recalibrated to account for the shift in road position.
If you have any questions or are unsure about anything regarding your vehicle and its Driver Assistance Systems please refer to your vehicle handbook. If you require any general information or advice about your vehicle please feel free to contact us on 0333 0146 059 and a member of our team will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, you can contact us online by clicking here.