Importance of ADAS autonomous driving
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is the most important technology currently driving the automotive industry. It is a combination of systems that support autonomous driving as well as help human drivers by taking control of a vehicle’s major functions. With all major car manufacturers and tech giants having their eyes set on self-driving vehicles, ADAS is an irreplaceable feature for this new ecosystem.
How does ADAS work?
ADAS enables a vehicle to comprehend the surrounding situation and take control of driving functions such as steering, braking, parking, etc. for the convenience of the driver and safety of the vehicle. The system runs with the aid of sensors such as radar, lidar and camera to sense, analyse, decide and control the driving process. It provides traffic information such as road blockage, congestion levels, routes to be taken, etc. for better decision making and navigation. Additional ADAS features include parking assistance and cruise control with the help of a backup camera. The various technical elements of ADAS are:
- Camera: It monitors information such as traffic signs, the presence of other vehicles or pedestrians or a sudden blind spot, and helps in operations by taking control of the accelerator, brakes or steering wheel.
- Radar: It measures radio waves emitted by external objects (other vehicles, pedestrians, etc.) to detect their position, speed, etc. Radars are more effective in adverse weather conditions or bad visibility.
- Lidar: Light detection and ranging (Lidar) is a sonar that uses pulsed laser waves to notify the vehicle of surrounding objects and map their distance.
Safety and convenience are the two main objectives of ADAS. A few of the basic functions of ADAS that make autonomous driving a smooth operation are:
- Cruise control and collision warning: Information from external sensors helps in maintaining inter-vehicle distance and speed, and setting alarms to evade collision.
- Emergency brakes: In case of a collision, despite the warning, the emergency braking system works to control or minimize the damage.
- Night vision and pedestrian detection: ADAS sensors come into play in cases of low visibility at night or due to bad weather conditions such as snow, fog, etc. It also helps in spotting a pedestrian.
- Recognizing traffic signs: Images taken by the camera help the vehicle/driver recognize traffic signs and act accordingly.
- Lane-keeping and departure: ADAS sends signals to warn the driver in cases of lane departure and its power steering features help in keeping to a lane.
- Parking assistance: With the help of a backup camera, parallel parking becomes easier.
As the automotive industry gears up for a major overhaul with the launch of self-driven vehicles in the future, the availability of more advanced ADAS is crucial. Both OEMs and technology companies are working on technology upgrades such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, road-to-vehicle communication systems and dynamic maps for ADAS to evolve further and make autonomous driving a reality.