On behalf of MEMA, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analyzed the available ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technologies and concluded that if every vehicle on the road were equipped with them, the toll taken on society from vehicle accidents could be sharply reduced. Relatively few vehicles on the road today have these systems, however, and their penetration of the market is growing at only two to five percent annually. Since the vast majority of accidents in the United States are caused by driver error, the lack of adoption of these technologies within the U.S. fleet is a significant missed opportunity. This is especially true considering that ADAS technologies also pave the way to partially and fully autonomous vehicles, which could further reduce accidents—and their cost to society—by 90 percent or more. BCG found: ⊲ Since 2000, the automotive industry has introduced many ADAS features, and several more are being developed. This study focuses on seven features and combinations thereof that are most prevalent in the U.S. market. ⊲ ADAS features can be grouped into three broad categories—those that aid the driver, those that warn the driver, and those that assist the driver in performing certain basic driving functions.
Taken together, ADAS features and sensor technologies are the building blocks of partially autonomous driving, which in certain scenarios will allow a vehicle to accelerate, steer and/or brake without driver intervention. Some partially autonomous features could be available to the public before the end of 2015. ⊲ These features could prevent approximately 9,900 fatalities each year in the United States. ⊲ ADAS features, if widely adopted and properly used, could generate tremendous societal benefits. BCG has calculated that the cumulative safety contribution of available ADAS technologies works out to $16,307 per vehicle over a vehicle’s 20-year life.1 ⊲ ADAS technologies could deliver a safety return of 98 percent over a vehicle’s lifetime, factoring in both economic savings and the avoidance of diminished quality of life. ⊲ Fully autonomous vehicles, which in most situations could operate independently from human intervention, could reduce accidents even more dramatically, cutting them by an estimated 90 percent and generating a safety return of 439 percent. ⊲ Compared with Europe, the United States has made far less progress on the regulation front. ⊲ All stakeholders—vehicle manufacturers; component manufacturers; dealers; regulators; legislators; insurers; rating agencies and consumer publications; industry associations; and consumers themselves—have a role to play in steering consumers toward ADAS adoption.