For those who aren’t aware, autonomous driver assistance systems, or ADAS, are a group of active safety technologies installed in today’s vehicles with the goal of avoiding or lessening the severity of collisions. These advanced radar or camera-based systems are used in tandem with the vehicle’s sensors to monitor its immediate environment. To protect the driver and passengers, the system can take over the steering and braking functions automatically.
Recently, we polled our audience to find out how they felt about ADAS. Five-and-a-half percent of respondents, however, think ADAS has little application in India, and another 19 percent think they’re too expensive. In sum, most Indian consumers, like myself, do not see the point in acquiring ADAS.
On my way to work in my brand-new Hyundai Verna equipped with ADAS, I was recently cut off by a reckless motorcyclist. This is not an uncommon event, but the car decided to automatically slam on the brakes and come to a stop in the midst of a busy intersection. Thankfully, I didn’t get hit from behind. In most Indian cities, where traffic is heavy, drivers are unpredictable, and roads are riddled with potholes, these systems pose more of a risk if they are not implemented properly.
Thus, I have taken to obsessively adjusting system settings before every drive; I keep the distance for automated emergency braking (AEB) ‘near’ in the city (late braking) and ‘far’ for the interstate (early braking). Also, while I leave lane-keeping assistance on while driving on the interstate, I only use the audible warning while in city limits. In the latter, if the automobile starts to veer out of its lane, the system will automatically apply steering corrections.
There is an option for purchasers to disable these features entirely, but I would advise against it because drivers today face so many distractions, including cell phones, touchscreen infotainment systems, and the finicky controls that require touching the screen to use. One second of inattention is all it takes to cause catastrophic results. If only the cars had stopped or slowed down in time, so many people on foot and in bicycles may still be alive today. Highway driving, where traffic is lighter and speeds are higher, is a perfect scenario for advanced driver assistance systems. These technologies not only help drivers steer, accelerate, and brake, relieving fatigue, but they also reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by driver error.
Features like as adaptive cruise control, which does more than just keep the car at a safe distance from the car in front, are included in ADAS. When a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind area, an alert is sent to the driver; when automatic emergency braking (AEB) detects an object in the road and the driver is either distracted or fails to use the brakes in time, AEB automatically applies the brakes. You won’t have to worry about your car swerving out of its lane thanks to lane keeping assist, and you can see better when traveling at faster speeds thanks to high beam assist, which automatically dims your headlights so you don’t blind approaching traffic.
Multiple new automobile trims, not just the top-tier, now come standard with advanced driver assistance systems. The Hyundai Venue has ADAS at the lowest price point, whereas the Honda City is the least expensive car in its class. It’s worth noting that 35% of all new Vernas on our roads now are equipped with ADAS, and that both Honda and Hyundai sell the Verna with ADAS across numerous models. COO of Hyundai Motor India Tarun Garg told Autocar India, “I think Verna’s success is a big booster for us in terms of introducing ADAS going forward in more models.” Some of the higher-end models from other big manufacturers, like Tata, Mahindra, Toyota, and MG, also come equipped with ADAS.
The incorporation of ADAS in modern automobiles may save many lives as India’s road network develops and as legal highway speeds reach triple digits. To properly appreciate the benefits of ADAS, you need to learn how it operates and try it out for yourself. You should really think about getting ADAS in your future vehicle if you have the chance to do so.