ADAS, which stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, is not a single feature but rather a collection of features that assist drivers in maximizing safety and convenience while driving. These features vary from brand to brand and model to model. To simplify matters, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined a set of features that fall into different levels, ranging from Level 0, which has no assistance whatsoever, to Level 4, which is fully automated driving.
Level 0 refers to old cars that have no driving assistance. In this case, the driver is the only one responsible for controlling the vehicle, and the car has no means of gathering information or acting upon it. It can only control either the steering or the braking at a time.
Level 1 is the first level of basic assistance given to the driver. Typically, Level 1 features include Lane Keep Assist, where radar sensors detect the lanes and the car inputs minimal steering to keep the vehicle in the middle of the lane. Forward Collision Warning systems help indicate when the car is getting too close to another vehicle or stationary object, which is useful during overtaking maneuvers. The distance at which the car warns the driver of a possible collision can usually be adjusted.
Blind Spot Monitoring and Automatic Braking are also key features of Level 1 ADAS and are effective in my opinion. Regardless of the vehicle you drive, whether it’s a small city car or a large SUV, blind spots exist, and having sensors for these blind spots can be reassuring. The Automatic Braking system can help avoid a collision by automatically applying the brakes when it detects an unavoidable crash. If necessary, the system will bring the car to a complete stop. However, it’s important to note that these are just features that aid the driver, and reckless driving can still lead to accidents. Level 1 ADAS is available in cars such as the Mahindra XUV 700 and Honda City.
Level 2 takes things further by providing partial automation. Not only can it take control of the braking, but it can also control the steering coherently with advanced features like radar-guided cruise control and lane keep assist with cruise control. Level 2 ADAS includes all the features from Level 1 and more. Radar-guided cruise control can follow the car in front without any throttle input and minimal steering, but it’s advisable to keep your hands on the wheel at all times. With additional sensors, blind spot monitoring becomes even better, as it can predict whether an obstacle behind you will become a potential hazard while you’re making a turn, taking into account the speed of the obstacle.
Additionally, Level 2 ADAS can assist with or even park the car itself, with the driver still in the driver’s seat it can provide you with plethora of information like the speed limit or any warning signs for instance an accidental prone area by reading the road signs some of the cars also have smart headlamps which can block some of its light so that the oncoming traffic doesn’t get dazzled without hampering your view. Hyundai Tucson and Tesla Model 3 are two examples of level 2 autonomy
Level 3 Conditional Autonomous Driving is a significant step up from Level 2, as the car can drive itself, but only under specific conditions and with government permission. Level 3 cars have advanced sensors like LiDAR, which can detect the environment and any moving or stationary obstacles, high-tech GPS, accurate to about 3 cms, and additional sensors to account for weather, grip, temperature, and redundancy. In some designated areas in Germany, partial autonomous driving is allowed in safe and slow areas. Luxury cars like the Mercedes EQS and Audi A8L has such capability.
Level 4 represents a significant advancement in autonomous driving technology, it doubles down on every computer system, sensors, cameras, and radars to achieve high levels of autonomy. However, there are only a few prototypes and examples of Level 4 autonomous vehicles, such as Waymo One from Alphabet, which are currently being tested in designated, controlled environments. It is important to note that even in Level 4 autonomous vehicles, it is recommended that the driver remains alert and ready to take manual control in case of system failure. such as Alphabet’s Waymo One, which is allowed to drive people in safe and designated spots.
On the other hand, Level 5 full autonomous driving technology is still years away from being widely available due to technological and regulatory challenges. A Level 5 autonomous vehicle would require no user input whatsoever and would represent a major breakthrough in transportation. However, achieving Level 5 autonomy not only requires technological advancements, but also regulatory changes to ensure safety and accountability in case of any mishaps. No car has level 5 autonomy as of now.
Although these high-level technologies are years away but ADAS level 1 and level 2 are making cars safer for everyone on the road. It is a must needed change in India as we have the most car crash fatalities in the world. Some of them can be easily be avoided by these systems.