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Advanced driver assistance systems: automating the driving experience

Advanced driver assistance systems offer enhanced convenience,comfort and safety to vehicle owners. As these technologies mature, they have the capability to transform the automotive landscape and facilitate the proliferation of driverless cars.

Advanced driver assistance systems are gaining in popularity day by day as there is increased emphasis on reducing fatalities on roads, increased driver safety and avoiding collisions. There are a variety of systems in place that help in monitoring drivers, braking systems, steering systems, and advanced warning systems. Governments in developed countries have enacted laws that require all vehicles to be equipped with advanced emergency braking systems and forward collision warning systems by the year 2020. On the other hand, consumers are also becoming aware of the various advanced driver assistance systems that give more comfort and control to the drivers.

Although still in a stage of infancy, original equipment manufacturers foresee the fact that by providing such advanced safety systems in their cars, they can differentiate themselves from the competition and also create a lucrative source of revenue. Due to the growing interest in this field, and due to the various hi-tech research and development efforts of leading technology providers such as Google, advanced driver assistance systems could become popular if self-driving cars hit the car market in the near future. Many semiconductor companies are now manufacturing chips that assist in various functions of advanced driver assistance systems. However, as new technology is being developed, there are questions raised about how the drivers will react when some of their functions are delegated to a computer chip that controls or assists with critical driving functions such as steering and braking. In this write up, we take stock on some of the most promising advanced driver assistance systems that are already present in the market and discuss their features.

Adaptive cruise control systems: These systems are particularly useful for drivers who are driving on a highway. While driving on a highway, drivers have to constantly rely on cruise control systems in order to maintain safety and these systems are designed for just that.

Adaptive light control systems: These systems are used by drivers to get better visibility in darkness or in low visibility conditions.

Automatic braking systems: These systems are designed as a pre-crash technology that helps reduce the magnitude of the collision in case the driver loses attention while driving.

Automatic parking systems: In these systems, there are many features being offered by various original equipment manufacturers for efficient vehicle parking.

Blind spot detection systems: These systems provide vital information to drivers with the help of sensors.

Collision avoidance systems: In these systems, a variety of sensors are used to determine whether a vehicle is in the path of colliding with any other vehicle or object and the driver is immediately alerted of the impending danger.

Driver drowsiness detection systems: These systems deploy sensors to judge whether the driver is feeling drowsy while driving the car by judging the motions of the driver’s head.

GPS navigation systems: In GPS navigation, drivers no longer need to read bulky paper maps and some of these systems can even provide directions through voice, without the necessity of the driver to look at the screen or the monitor. Most GPS navigation systems also provide real-time traffic data, so that drivers can select a suitable route for reaching their destination.

Hill descent control systems: Hill descent control assists drivers to navigate steep inclines. This automated system activates the braking mechanism of the vehicle, as seen in technologies such as ABS and TCS.

Lane departure warning systems: In these systems, a variety of sensors are deployed to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t leave the designated lane accidentally.

There are several other automated systems that provide night vision and also check the inflation of vehicle tyres, thereby providing both convenience and safety to the driver.