ADAS – the technology taking the wheel in the vehicle industry.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, car windscreens were two sheets of laminated glass constructed with a fine vinyl layer between them. Now, they’re a hub of amazing technology. Thanks to swift advances in vehicle safety technology, new cars are smarter, safer, and more intuitive than ever before. ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are a range of safety features which are either built-in or added to a vehicle aftermarket. They work together to alert drivers to potential problems, adjust vehicle behaviour and provide automatic assistance, and stealthily avoid collisions.
These systems utilise radar, cameras, sensors, lidar, networking and computer imaging technologies. Several of which may be stored in your windscreen glass. If your windscreen becomes damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced, your ADAS systems may need to be re-calibrated professionally. Of course this adds some cost to your windscreen repair; but it seems simply driving safely is now not enough. ADAS is saving lives, and is the future of reduced road tolls.
System 1: Adaptive
Adaptive ADAS systems adapt vehicle behavior based on the surrounding environment. Adaptive features can include cruise control, which automatically adjusts the speed of the vehicle in order to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Adaptive lighting aids drivers to see better and further into the darkness, not only will lights brighten and dim as required, headlights will also swivel and rotate to provide better illumination of the road through corners. Some systems will gauge the distance of oncoming vehicles and automatically adjust their brightness in order to minimise glare.
System 2: Automated
Automated ADAS are features which take over the vehicle to perform functions that the driver cannot safely do. These include anti-lock braking systems, automatic parking, navigation systems with GPS and TMC which provide current traffic information, and automatic collision avoidance systems.
System 3: Monitoring
ADAS sensors and cameras observe vehicle behaviour including the surrounding traffic to assess whether a correction in required. Blind spot monitors detect other vehicles to your side and rear, and may also include “Cross traffic alerts,” which warns drivers when other traffic is approaching at intersections, or as they’re backing out of a parking space.
Pedestrian monitors, tyre pressure monitors, and driver monitors are all helping us stay safe on the roads using infrared, CCD cameras and amazing eye-tracking technology.
System 4: Warning
We’ve come a long way since the fuel light was our only warning system. ADAS warnings now include lane departure warnings, lane-keeping assistance systems, and advanced driver drowsiness detection. These systems alert drivers to potential problems with their own driving, or the driving of those around them. A MUARC study into the cause of 340 casualty crashes in Victoria and NSW between 2000-2011, found 11.8% fell asleep. 10.9% were fatigued. 2.6% blacked out. In theory, 86 of those lives could’ve been saved by an ADAS warning system.
It’s very important to know what ADAS features your vehicle includes. If you need to have your windscreen repaired or replaced, check with your original manufacturer which interlinked safety systems are tied to the windshield. With the option of after-market additions, a single vehicle make or model might have over twenty possible windscreen variations. They’re no longer just glass. Built-in sensors, areas of tint or no tint, noise reduction layers, heaters, cameras, everything needs to be lined up and calibrated with precision to ensure the features are in perfect working order. Who would’ve thought the humble windscreen could be so technical.
It won’t be long until Tesla and Uber will have our vehicles doing all the driving for us as we sit back and relax. We can’t wait to see what those windscreens contain.