Your vehicle is getting smarter, and it’s doing its best to keep you safe. Whether you realize it or not, you have likely interacted with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) at some point in the last decade or so. From adaptive cruise control to lane departure warnings to the increasingly ubiquitous “backup camera” you probably have some sort of ADAS in your vehicle.
Now, we’ve talked a little bit before about ADAS systems in general, and how they’re calibrated. But today, we’re going to get into the levels of ADAS and specific systems you’re likely to encounter. Plus we might give you a few tips along the way. Let’s go!
So, ADAS are categorized into different levels from 0–5. These levels are determined, in part, by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and are based on the amount of automation each system employs (we’ll explain).
Think of it this way; a level 0 system has no automation at all and level 5 would be a completely self-driving automobile. For our conversation, we’re focusing on levels 0-2 and a few of the specific systems of each. Most of the level 3 through 5 systems are not available in normal commercial vehicles yet.
These are the systems that will simply warn you about impending trouble, or provide you with information about your surroundings.
Lane-Departure Warning – This system uses a camera, usually, located near your rearview mirror. This camera recognizes specified painted lane markers (not curbs, importantly) and alerts a driver with a warning of some kind.
Forward Collision Warning – These warnings come from your car’s ADAS system making calculations based on your speed and the distance of the vehicle in front of you. The forward collision warning normally utilizes a radar located somewhere in the front of the vehicle and is sometimes used in conjunction with the Emergency Brake Assist system.
Backup Cameras and Warnings – Backup cameras have become standard equipment on all new cars since 2018. Located in the rear of the vehicle (usually around the license plate) the camera shows the driver what’s behind the vehicle. The camera, along with sensors in the bumpers
Level 1 ADAS are systems that will take control over ONE function of the vehicle to keep you safe or avoid a collision.
Adaptive Cruise Control – Using either radar, video cameras, or in some cases, even laser sensors, and a preset distance by the driver, your car will either accelerate or brake to keep the driver’s preset distance from the traffic ahead.
Emergency Brake Assist – As mentioned in the collision warning above, the Emergency Brake Assist will abruptly and automatically apply the brakes if forward-mounted sensors believe that you may be about to crash into someone. Keep in mind this is just emergency braking, this system will not avoid a crash. It will simply brake hard for you, to try and keep from hitting the vehicle in front of you.
Lane-Keeping Assistance – Imagine this system as a step up from the Lane Departure Warning from earlier. Instead of just a warning, the assistance function will gently steer your vehicle back into your lane for you.
Unlike the previous levels, Level 2 systems will take control of multiple vehicle functions. These are less common systems that you might find on newer and luxury vehicles.
Hands-Free Parking – This is generally one of the only level 2 systems that are widely available in commercial vehicles. Using sensors around the vehicle the system can detect gaps between parked cars and will monitor distances to vehicles in front and behind you while the car parks itself.
This is not a comprehensive list, and it should be noted that even though ADAS systems are incredibly helpful in avoiding accidents, they still have limitations. While they are becoming more commonplace, many of these systems are still not standard equipment in new cars. They are also not standardized systems, at least for now. This means that ADAS systems work differently and alert differently depending on the manufacturer. So it’s important to educate yourself about your vehicle’s specific safety features.
It’s also very important to remember that these systems use sensors and cameras that need to be very finely calibrated to work correctly. In the event of a collision, even a minor fender bender, it’s likely that these sensors will need to be recalibrated or reset.
Luckily, the technicians at Eustis Body Shop are highly-trained and can properly calibrate all of your vehicle’s complicated safety systems. If you ever have questions about your ADAS systems contact us at eustisbodyshop.com.