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What is an ADAS driver assistance system? How does it work?

20 July 2023

Driver assistance systems are now one of the key features of modern vehicles. Thanks to such solutions, it is possible to increase the level of safety on the road, as well as improve driving comfort. One of them is the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). What is ADAS and how does it work?

Safety in modern vehicles 

With the introduction of new regulations and increased emphasis on driving safety, more systems are being installed in cars to provide increased protection for the driver and passengers. It's no longer just airbags, power steering or ABS. Today, vehicles are increasingly equipped with advanced solutions that can be divided into smart, active and passive safety systems. They are constantly being developed and adapted to ensure both safety and comfort for drivers and passengers. At the same time, it is worth noting that their task is not always to guarantee protection in the event of an accident, but also to eliminate potential danger before a dangerous situation even occurs. One system that works this way is the ADAS – "Advanced Driver Assistance System". 

ADAS system – what is it? 

The term ADAS actually refers not to a single system, but to a collection of different driver assistance solutions. This means that ADAS is made up of many minor systems that affect different parts of the car. In practice, such a solution is supposed to aid the driver's mechanical senses, providing increased awareness on the road. The system relies on extensive electronics within the vehicle, particularly the use of a network of sensors and controllers. This allows for instant communication and immediate response – even before the driver notices a hazard or potential problem. 

How does the ADAS system work? 

ADAS is a system made up of various components, sensors and controllers, which together ensure the correct and safe movement of the car, while informing the driver of various hazards. Thus, such solutions are able to comprehensively support car users while driving. The operation of the system depends primarily on its components, among which the most commonly used are: 

  • windshield cameras – which are responsible for obstacle detection, automatic emergency braking, operation of active cruise control, adjustment of lights to road conditions, and more; 
  • radar sensors – which assist the cameras by measuring the distance to obstacles; 
  • ultrasonic sensors – which are used for functions such as parking assistant. 

However, these are just some of the components that can make up an ADAS system – the exact list may vary depending on the car manufacturer. Importantly, such solutions are also used in autonomous cars, where they are the basis for maintaining safety on the road. To learn more, you may want to read our text describing autonomous vehicles vs. safety

What is included in the ADAS driver assistance system? 

Some of the components that make up the ADAS system have already been deemed mandatory safety systems in cars. These include speed limit assist, lane keeping technology and a fatigue detection system. Also included are such elements as: 

  • cameras positioned around the car that analyze the surroundings from all sides; 
  • active cruise control using radar sensors; 
  • lane control system; 
  • automatic braking system; 
  • overtaking assistance with blind spot control; 
  • HUD on the windshield; 
  • e-call system; 
  • driver fatigue testing sensors; 
  • traffic sign control system; 
  • parking assistance systems. 

The details of a specific ADAS system can vary widely between different car models and brands. Most often, however, the key components of such a system are cameras and sensors that work together while driving to enhance safety. 

Will ADAS improve road safety? 

 Front shock absorber from EPP.
Front shock absorber from EPP.

The ADAS system takes care of safety in the vehicle on various levels. However, it should be noted that this is only one of many solutions that should be included in the car's equipment. Among other things, lightweight parts from expanded materials like EPP and EPS, which provide increased passive safety in the car, will be an important element. These types of solutions being the core area of our expertise and are being developed together with our OEM and Tier 1 customers in Knauf Automotive's offering. 

ADAS takes care of driving safety and comfort in a comprehensive way. The advanced systems cover various areas around the car, from ultrasonic radars that assist in parking, to range radars that support blind spot and obstacle warning systems, to cameras, LIDAR and long-range radars. The latter are responsible for cruise control operation, lane departure warning or traffic sign recognition. The use of such solutions makes it possible to significantly reduce the number of dangerous accidents – especially in the event of driver fatigue or adverse weather conditions. 

To learn more about safety in the car, you may want to read other articles addressing the topic of protection while driving and the dangers you may face on the road. This will help you find out what the safest place in the car is and what safety parts a car should have

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