What Does ADAS Stand For?

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 21, 2020

ADAS is an acronym for advanced driving assistance systems. Technologies that provide driver support, such as adaptive cruise control, or attempt to prevent collisions, such as automatic emergency braking, are included among the many ADAS types. These systems use cameras, radar, LiDAR, vehicle-to-X communication, GPS and mapping data, and more to automate driving and make travel safer.

What is ADAS?

Examples of ADAS

As of 2020, many automakers offer advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) as standard equipment. Typically, they are grouped as a package with a name that doesn’t clearly define what ADAS types they contain. Examples include Chevy Safety Assist, Honda Sensing, Hyundai SmartSense, Lincoln Co-Pilot 360, Subaru EyeSight, and Toyota Safety Sense.

Typically, but not always, these collections of ADAS include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance. Some, such as Nissan Safety Shield 360, include a blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning while making adaptive cruise control an option. 

Others, such as Cadillac Super Cruise, Ford Active Drive Assist, and Tesla Autopilot, are Level 2 semi-autonomous driving systems built on standard ADAS packages. They can include smarter adaptive cruise control, lane-centering technology, lane-changing assistance, and self-steering systems designed for use under strict driver supervision.

ADAS can also include self-parking and self-return technology. Genesis and Hyundai offer a Remote Smart Parking Assist system, with varying capability levels depending on the model and application. Tesla Smart Summon is similar, but it works as a valet-style vehicle retrieval system. 

Can ADAS Drive for Me?

There are five levels of autonomous driving, and as 2020 comes to a close, the only systems approved for use in the U.S. are Level 1 and Level 2. With existing approved systems, the driver must actively participate in the act of driving or pay close attention and take full control at any time. 

While the most sophisticated Level 2 ADAS systems will steer without the driver’s hands on the wheel (when meeting specific criteria), the driver must remain attentive and vigilant at all times, ready to take control when the system determines it can no longer safely operate.

The redesigned 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be prepped for Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous drive when regulations allow for it. Tesla also promises expanded autonomous driving capability when it can legally make it available. 

For the record, you cannot watch movies or recline the seat and doze off unless your car has Level 5, fully-autonomous self-driving capability. And that is a long way off.

Which Cars, SUVs, and Trucks Have ADAS?

Most new vehicles today have standard ADAS. However, some models include more technology than others, and even under a package name such as Hyundai SmartSense, inclusions can vary between models. Be sure to do your research and understand both what the ADAS includes in the vehicle you plan to purchase, and how it works.

Keep in mind that most new vehicles offer extra-cost option packages containing a range of additional and enhanced ADAS, such as the Mercedes-Benz Driver Assistance Package. Highlights of this upgrade include Pre-Safe Plus, an automatic emergency stop assistance system, and route-based automatic speed adjustment similar to Porsche InnoDrive, among other features.

If you want ADAS in your next vehicle, you’re in luck. Most new cars, trucks, and SUVs have it as standard or optional equipment. If you don’t want ADAS, you can always shop for a used car.

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