In the market for a new car? Here are the latest innovations in ADAS: the helpful automatic features that make driving safer. If you keep your vehicle as long as the average American, you’ll find that vehicles and their onboard electronics have come a long way since the last time you stepped into a dealership.
While we’re still a long way from self-driving cars, many new cars––even without upgraded trim levels–– come standard with ADAS features that can save your life. We recognize that new car buyers have more jargon-filled acronyms to sift through than ever before, so we’re here to make your decision a little simpler with a handy guide.
A few essential safety features have worked their way into most cars on the roads today. These are where you want to start. Make sure any new car you purchase has them––you’ll thank us later.
Automatic Emergency Braking: This handy system can save lives both inside and outside your car. A car’s sensors can now give it better “reflexes” than a human and hit the brakes when an impact is imminent. The most advanced systems can detect both vehicles and pedestrians.
Forward Collision Warning: If AEB isn’t in the cards, an FCW system can be just as useful. These systems detect objects ahead of the car, but don’t apply the brakes. Instead, they flash a light or make a sound to warn the driver.
Blind Spot Warning: Deceptively simple, a blind spot warning system is usually nothing more than a light on a car’s side-view mirrors. When it detects another vehicle in your blind spot, it lights up. Subtle and unobtrusive, BSW is a pleasure to use and has been proven to reduce injuries and crashes.
The next few features are fun to drive with but shouldn’t make or break your decision. However, if you spend a lot of time driving at night or on highways, these features can handle a lot of the tedium and interruptions.
Lane Keep Assist: These systems vary significantly from one manufacturer to the next. They can help you stay between the lines on certain kinds of roads and under certain conditions, but they’re not perfect––yet. Less than 2/3rds of drivers trust them to work every time. However, your experience will vary from one carmaker to the next, and many drivers find LKA helpful.
Auto-dimming mirrors: On its surface, this may seem like just a convenience feature, but preventing distraction from bright headlights behind you is something any nighttime driver can appreciate. If you drive in dimly-lit areas with lots of traffic––such as rural highways––this simple feature could make your nights easier on the eyes.
Adaptive cruise control: Think of how much more convenient it is to drive with cruise control than without. Adaptive cruise control––which automatically adjusts cruising speed to the vehicle ahead––is like cruise control for your cruise control. It takes much of the hassle out of heavy traffic. Some ACC systems can even bring the car to a stop and then start moving again when the vehicle ahead does. While not a true safety feature, this makes long highway drives nearly stress-free.
Some of these ADAS features were the stuff of science fiction just twenty years ago. Now that they’re relatively common, you don’t want to miss out. Do your research at the dealership, go for test drives and experience them for yourself––you won’t regret it