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What is ADAS and how does it affect motorists?

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been the talk of the motor industry of late – but what does ADAS actually do and how does it affect motorists? Trust My Garage has the answers!

What is ADAS?

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), are electronic systems that aid a vehicle driver while driving – so they’re designed to help minimize human error, often the cause of road accidents, and therefore increase safety on the roads.

They’re one of the fastest-growing areas in automotive electronics – and future iterations are likely to include wireless vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity to help further increase safety measures. However, at the moment this is still far off in the future.

What does it do?

ADAS safety features are designed to mitigate the likelihood of a collision and reduce the effects in the event of an unavoidable collision by offering technologies that alert drivers to potential problems, or to avoid collisions by implementing safety measures and taking over control of the vehicle.

Features of ADAS vary from vehicle to vehicle, but can include:

  • Automated lighting & wipers
  • Adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance
  • Pedestrian Crash Avoidance Mitigation (PCAM)
  • Incorporated sat nav/traffic warnings
  • Alerting of a driver to other cars or dangers
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Automatic lane centring
  • Blind spot display
  • Smartphone connection for navigation
  • Road sign recognition
  • Stability control systems
  • Park distance control
  • High beam assist

Why do motorists want ADAS?

In short, ADAS is beneficial because it helps improve road safety. As previously mentioned, they’re designed to aid drivers and implement safeguarding procedures as errors happen – helping to keep road users safe.

The evidence of ADAS’s effectiveness is clear enough that many functions have become mandatory on new cars sold in various regions around the world. Currently, the EU has announced 19 vehicle safety measures that it would like to see on all new cars.

Euro NCAP (The European New Car Assessment Programme) is the UK and Europe’s car safety assessment program – establishing a 5-star rating system occupant safety in the case of a vehicle collision. Euro NCAP has embraced ADAS, and it continues to adapt its assessment procedures to address the growing number of systems and technologies.

This support of road user protection over the past few years has led to widespread consumer awareness of the benefits of safer cars. It’s also expected that Euro NCAP and its testing and rating system will play a similar role in encouraging ADAS to be adopted across the motor industry.

How could ADAS affect day-to-day driving?

ADAS technology has already begun to enhance driving for many motorists as manufacturers have begun to create and adapt their own systems. There are a number of ways in which it could affect motorists day-today, such as:

  • Reduced the amount of damage to vehicles due to anti-collision features
  • Lower repair costs due to less damage
  • Less severe accidents, reducing the amount of time a vehicle spends off the road
  • Improved road safety
  • Potential insurance discounts for vehicles fitted with ADAS
  • Fewer claims, helping to improve insurance premiums

Do motorists need to take additional care of ADAS-equipped vehicles?

In the future, ADAS checks may be incorporated into a ‘Periodical Technical Inspection’, proposed in the EU as a replacement for the MOT – however, this would still be far in the future, or possibly not happen at all.

The current iteration of ADAS can be maintained with calibration; a service that ensures the sensors and other equipment on a vehicle are working correctly individually and in co-ordination with one another. A typical ADAS calibration processes and thus the time required to undertake will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Calibration is required when the following occurs:

  • Front windscreen is replaced
  • A bumper is repaired or replaced
  • A front-end collision occurs
  • Steering geometry is adjusted
  • Suspension components replaced

A calibration is preformed to correct misalignment, so that your vehicle’s ADAS system is working as intended. If a calibration is missed, an ADAS component may not function as it should and could cause a potential risk to you and others on the road.

How can I see if a garage provides ADAS services?

Garages across the UK now offer ADAS calibration services as part of their menu – but if you’re looking for a garage that goes the extra mile, you can use Trust My Garage’s “Find a Garage” map to locate you’re nearest Trust My Garage-approved member, so why not try it out below?

If you’re unsure whether a garage offers ADAS calibration, each TMG member has their own profile page where you can read about their services on offer – and easily find contact information if you’d rather call or visit the garage yourself! You can even request a price estimate if you know what work you need.

As well as being part of the IGA, the largest and most prominent representative body in the Independent garage sector, every Trust My Garage member operates to a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved Code of Conduct – meaning you and your motor get the quality service you deserve every time you visit a TMG-approved garage.

For more information about how TMG can help you – no matter what services you need – you can visit TrustMyGarage.co.uk, or check out our Facebook and Twitter pages here!

The top five technologies for older drivers

The motor industry has seen many key innovations over the years, and it seems that with each passing year there’s a brand new piece of technology brought out to make your driving experience safer, easier and more enjoyable.

Male driver with thumbs up

Research has shown that 55% of older drivers are planning on leasing or buying another car in the next five years, meaning more drivers will encounter first-hand some of the fantastic technological breakthroughs that are now available in modern cars.

As with most new technology it can all be a little bit daunting at first as you try and figure out what each shiny new button does. To ensure you get the most out of your car, we’re showing you some of the best new technology and how, as older drivers, you can use them. Whilst some of them are useful, there are others that just might save your life.

5. Voice-activated systems

New technologies will enhance your safety, but do they come at a price? It’s probably fair to assume that many people will find themselves overwhelmed with all the gadgetry in front of them and all those new buttons, dials and knobs might distract you from driving. Voice-activated systems help motorists make the most of their car’s features by using their voice – which means their attention isn’t detracted from the road.

4. Intelligent Parking Assists

Intelligent Parking Assists (IPAS) are incredibly useful and take the stress out of parking. You’ll know how frustrating it is when you’re trying to find a place to park your car and the only spots available are too tight for you to manoeuvre into, meaning you drive around in fruitless circles for half an hour. Parking in big cities is becoming increasingly limited and there’s a greater need for perfect parallel parking – this is easier said than done, however, and if you’re under pressure from traffic you can easily find your nerves being shredded and your bumper bruised. Whilst IPAS doesn’t completely take control of the car (yet), and you are still responsible for the speed of the car, it manages the tricky aspect of steering, perfectly parking the car into a tricky space. IPAS will not only ease the stressful act of parking but will help see reductions to your insurance premiums as you experience fewer bumps and scrapes.

3. Blind spot monitoring systems

Blind spot monitoring systems help detect if a car is getting too close to you in a blind spot (an area you can’t see) and when there’s a risk of there being a collision. Active blind spot monitoring uses electronic devices on the on the sides of a car that will either send out electromagnetic waves (think radar) or will take computer-processed images and then analyse them. If a car is coming up on your rear and you’re not aware of it you’re at risk of changing lanes and crashing into it – blind spot monitoring systems will alert you to the danger. Some cars also offer a Lane Departure Warning System which will beep if you drift across white lines on a motorway or other major road

2. Vehicle Stability Control

Whilst IPAS might save you frustration, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) might save your life. It’s a system that helps stabilise your car when it’s going round a curve and if it senses a loss of traction will apply the brakes individually on each wheel and/or reduce engine power. VSC can help prevent crashes and is particularly useful in wet weather when grip becomes an issue. It’s important to note that VSC is there to help you, not to take over the act of driving for you, and you should always practise safe driving in the first place. It also won’t counter the performance of your tyres, so ensure they’re in good condition by having them checked at a local independent Trust My Garage member.

1. Drowsy driver alerts

Becoming tired at the wheel is incredibly dangerous and according to Think! is responsible for 20% of accidents on major roads. There are certain steps you can take to help prevent falling asleep at the wheel such as taking breaks every two hours, stopping if you start to feel tired and taking short naps at a service stop or in a suitable lay-by. However, technology is now helping to prevent fatigue-related accidents. If your car senses that you’re becoming drowsy it will take actions, such as sounding an alarm to wake you up or blowing air on the back of your neck. Drowsy driver alerts are constantly being innovated and enhanced, and new Mercedes Benz cars actually create a driver profile for you, mapping your driving style. Once you start to show unusual traits, such as late steering, it will take into consideration the time of day and if it thinks you’re drowsy will alert you. Saab’s on-board computer system even uses facial-recognition software to analyse your facial muscles and the time it takes for you to blink.

Assistive driving technology can really benefit motorists, just as regular servicing can keep you safe on the road. To find your local independent garage for a service ahead of a drive, visit the Trust My Garage website and insert your postcode into our garage finder.