Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Take Control in the Car

ADAS Stands for Safety

Of these three elements, safer cars are the most important to many car consumers. Automakers devote millions of dollars to developing and promoting safety features, which help differentiate their vehicles and can generate sales. Now that features such as seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones have become as common as cupholders, safety innovations are growing more complex. An example of this is the rapidly expanding category of safety features known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Some ADAS features are already well-known and provide welcome convenience and safety. These include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and night vision. The more advanced, and sometimes controversial, ADAS features are the ones that actively help drivers avoid accidents.

Unlike seatbelts and airbags that mitigate the effects of a crash, these ADAS features act preemptively. Instead of only decreasing injury or improving your chances of survival in an accident, some ADAS features are designed to prevent an accident from happening in the first place, in some instances by taking control of the car away from the driver. These include collision avoidance systems that can automatically apply a car's brakes and lane-departure prevention to steer a vehicle back on track.

More Control for Cruise

Adaptive cruise control (ACC), which uses sensors to detect vehicles ahead and adjust a car's cruise speed accordingly, is probably the most commonly known ADAS feature. It debuted on high-end luxury vehicles and has begun to trickle down to more modestly priced cars. Automakers have also piggybacked pre-collision features onto ACC systems that are marketed under a variety of trademarks: Lexus Advanced Pre-Collision System, Mercedes Distronic Plus with PreSafe Brake, BMW Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go

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