The History of ADAS

Today, we have cars so advanced that they can change lanes, brake, and even park your car for you! But it wasn’t always this way—the history of ADAS started with much simpler advancements.

Today, we’re taking a look at the history of ADAS, from the earliest driver assistance programs to the latest in technology. Keep reading to learn where ADAS started, why it’s important, and what you need to know about your own car’s ADAS.

Where ADAS Started

ADAS stands for “advanced driver assistance systems.” These systems can be built standard in vehicles or offered as aftermarket features.

The purpose of ADAS is to help you, the driver, operate the vehicle more safely and effectively. ADAS does this by improving your ability to react to dangers on the road, through early warnings and system automation.

ADAS began in America in the 1970s, with the implementation of the anti-lock braking system.

Anti-lock brakes work by preventing the car’s wheels from locking up during braking. This helps the wheels maintain traction on the road and allow you to maintain more control over the car. Before anti-lock brakes, drivers would try to maintain traction by repeatedly pumping the brakes themselves. However, the anti-lock braking system works more quickly and effectively than a human driver can.

Other ADAS followed soon after, including electronic stability control, blind spot information systems, lane departure warnings, traction control, and adaptive cruise control.

Over the years, ADAS have become more sophisticated. As we mentioned above, certain ADAS can drive the car for you!

ADAS Levels

ADAS are categorized into levels, based on the amount of automation involved:

  • Level 0: ADAS doesn’t control the car, only providing information to the driver to interpret. Level 0 ADAS include things like lane departure warnings, blind spot cameras, and forward collision warnings.
  • Level 1: ADAS can take over one function in the car. Level 1 ADAS include things like adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assist. This is known as driver assistance.
  • Level 2: At level 2, ADAS can take over multiple functionalities. This level of ADAS includes autonomous parking. The car is partially autonomous, but requires a person to monitor the driving at all times.
  • Level 3: ADAS can control most functions of the car, but human action is still needed. Level 3 ADAS vehicles have environmental detection and could, for example, accelerate past a slow-moving car.
  • Level 4: At level 4, there is high driving automation. The ADAS is sophisticated enough that human override isn’t required in most circumstances.
  • Level 5: At level 5, the ADAS allows the vehicle to be fully autonomous. Having your hands on the wheel is optional. In fact, level 5 ADAS wouldn’t even require the car to have a steering wheel or pedals for a driver to use.

Where ADAS Is Going

Currently, the only ADAS widely available in the U.S. are level 2. You might be surprised by that, but it’s true: even the Tesla Autopilot is classed as level 2.

Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to receive approval from the U.S. government for its level 3 ADAS this year. However, that ADAS isn’t expected to be available until 2024, as an option in the Mercedes Drive Pilot.

The future of ADAS looks to include greater automation. Higher levels of ADAS may eventually be widely available or even standard in cars. We’ll likely see more and more partially autonomous, then fully autonomous cars on the road. Of course, it’s going to take time for automakers to achieve this. Getting high-level ADAS into standard vehicles requires changes in scale, government compliance, safety standards, and more.

In the future, we may also see ADAS with vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity. This would allow vehicles to “talk” to each other—so cars could provide an even safer driving experience.

Need Help with Your Car’s ADAS?

ADAS rely on cameras and sensors placed around the car, precisely aimed in order to work properly. If these cameras or sensors are off, even by a few degrees, the ADAS might malfunction or fail entirely.

Our team’s experience and cutting-edge solutions offer calibration accuracy down to the millimeter. We’ll keep your car’s key safety systems working, whenever you need them.

Call us today to learn what we can do for yo