ADAS is steering us towards driverless vehicles

Consumers are getting used to assisted driving systems and will soon want full autonomous features, says Andrew Miller chief technical officer with Thatcham Research. [Auto.Myles.2016.02.01]

Q: Why has ADAS technology suddenly taken off in the automotive industry?

“The main driver is that new technology, vis-à-vis computing power and sensor technology, has enabled this sector to grow over the last 10-15 years. In turn this presents a new market possibility for manufacturers to bring value to consumers who want to be assisted in some aspects of driving.

“Consumers are starting to value warning systems for collisions and the opportunity to use adaptive cruise control, both of which lead to low levels of self-driving capability.

“We are also seeing the emergence of a dialogue around autonomous vehicles growing among vehicle purchasers – a shift from the emergence of the technologies to the possibility of self-driving vehicles.”

Q: What are industry’s main focus on the areas of ADAS today?

“The starting point, really, has been lane-warning systems and also the blind-spot warning systems. Then autonomous emergency braking (AEB) has come about as a system that sees whether a collision is imminent and applies the brakes automatically. Now the dialogue is centred around which technologies are going to get us to fully autonomous vehicles first.

“This has led to us talking about self-steering vehicles and vehicles that intervene to stop you driving off the road with road departure systems which will soon be here and the emergence of advanced AEB systems to avoid pedestrians and cyclists.

“Other technologies will start coming in in the next five years or so but it will be a broad spectrum of technology that will be needed to get us to autonomous vehicles.”

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