Until recently, automotive safety has been focused on softening the blow of a collision or crash; i.e., limiting the physical damage — human or otherwise — caused by a metal-to-metal mayhem. But that’s changing. Mitigation is simply not enough.
As the car industry evolves from a mechanical business to one that is more software oriented, the next generation of automotive safety devices or so-called advanced driver-assist systems are engineered to eliminate both the physical and psychological after-effects of a collision by eliminating the possibility of ever getting into a collision.
No crashes, no injuries, no fatalities — it’s that simple.
Though driver assist technologies, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, have been around for decades, they have been relatively unobtrusive, operating behind the scenes without the average driver ever knowing. Today’s more advanced driver assist systems — like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking or blind spot monitoring — are more meddlesome. They provide motorists with essential information about their surroundings and automate difficult or repetitive tasks in the hope of an overall increase in safety. Essentially, they compensate for the weakest link: the driver.
And these new autonomous technologies are being developed at a blistering pace. In just one model year, advanced driver assists have gone from being offered in a minority of new vehicles to being sold in the majority. Some experts believe ADAS technologies are becoming the next competitive area, a place for an automaker to differentiate its vehicles from another’s. Regardless, they are well executed and well integrated.
To help you get a handle on the latest ADAS offerings currently available, what they do and who is offering them, we’ve created this easy to use guide.