There is certainly no shortage of car dealerships near Lawnside. There are salespeople at each one eager to show off new models equipped with one of the hottest features: Advanced Driver-Assist Systems (ADAS). These high-tech systems use an array of cameras and sensors to alert you to traffic hazards and sometimes take driving actions of their own to help you to avoid motor vehicle accidents.
Here’s what the systems offer
ADAS-equipped vehicles can include the following features:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane-change warnings and assistance
- Steering and lane guidance assistance
- Forward and rear collision warnings
- Blind-spot detection
- Adaptive cruise control
- Distance control
- Pedestrian detection
- Road-sign recognition
While that list of features can be impressive, what the driving public really wants to know is whether the systems work or not. That is, do ADAS make you safer?
AAA weighs in
A recent study by AAA found that ADAS systems are often unreliable and that drivers who become dependent on them could find themselves in dangerous situations.
The organization tested five vehicles equipped with active driver-assist safety systems: the 2019 BMW X7 and its “Active Driving Assistant Professional,” the 2019 Cadillac CT6 and its “Super Cruise,” the 2019 Ford Edge with “Ford Co-Pilot360,” the 2020 Kia Telluride and its “Highway Driving Assist” and the 2020 Subaru Outback with a system called “EyeSight.” Each was driven approximately 800 miles on public roadways as well as on closed-course tracks.
Most common problems
AAA researchers found that the “systems experienced some type of issue every 8 miles, on average.” The most common problems in the tested vehicles were with lane-guidance, with ADAS struggling to keep vehicles in their lanes and comfortably away from other vehicles and guardrails.
AAA also found that ADAS that combine acceleration, braking and steer “often disengage with little notice – almost instantly handing control back to the driver.” The organization says two groups of drivers will be in danger when that happens: those who haven’t been paying attention and those who have become “too dependent” on ADAS to keep them safe.
When AAA tested the vehicles in closed-course driving, “the systems performed mostly as expected,” but that the safety systems struggled “when approaching a simulated disabled vehicle.” The results were grim: test vehicles crashed two-thirds of the time – an obviously unacceptable failure rate.
Rather than introducing more and more ADAS features, AAA says automakers should devote more resources to testing current systems and making them more reliable.