ADAS Sept/Oct 2019

ADAS Doesn’t Reduce Insurance Premiums

A January report by AAA indicated that more than 90 percent of new vehicles on the market today have at least one feature that qualifies as part of an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), but the mere existence of the technology hasn’t brought down the cost of car insurance. In fact, in some cases ADAS technology is raising insurance costs. In general, new cars have a higher insurance rate, but the elements that have been added to a car to help create safer drivers on the road come at a considerable cost when they fail—when there is a crash or the systems, which often are computer based, fail to work for other reasons.

Replacing a sensor, computer part, or increasingly specialized parts can cost exponentially more than a regular replacement. One such example is the adaptive light control, which are headlights that swivel when the car is turning. Re-placing a headlamp control module for a BMW 335i can easily run from the mid-$700s to the low $800s, not including taxes, and those prices can vary depending on region, make, model, and possibly even engine type. The replacement of blind-spot sensors and windshield cameras in cars with ADAS also come with a high cost.

Advanced Tire & Auto Name Change Reflects ADAS Focus

Keyport, N.J.’s Advanced Tire & Auto Center has a new name as it will now focus on “the next generation of vehicle repair.” Owners Jason and Janet Bigelow, decided to focus ADAS. Their business has been renamed, and will now be known as Advanced ADAS Calibration Centers.

“We are the first dedicated calibration center in New Jersey for the maintenance, repair and delicate calibration of these safety-enhancing systems for all makes and models,” says Jason Bigelow.

The cameras, radar and sensors for ADAS require calibration, and Janet Bigelow says she’s seen demand grow for expertise in those systems.

This year the company also opened a second location in Old Bridge, N.J., to serve its insurance-industry and body shop clients.

“In the old days when a car got in a fender-bender, the repair was simple,” she says. “Today, that fender may contain sensors that re-quire expert recalibration, down to the last millimeter.”

Smart Glass for Smart Cars

Self-driving cars will need smart glass, or so believes Research Frontiers’ CEO Joe Harary, whose company makes SPD-SmartGlass for car windows and sunroofs. As report-ed on, the smart glass Harary and his team creates darkens and lightens at the touch of a button and allows vehicle occupants to customize their ride. This, he says, will be even more important when all the occupants of a car will be able to engage in more personal pursuits such as watching videos or working on a screen (laptop, smart phone)—but he recognizes the need to be able to have a clear view of the surroundings on demand, in case of an emergency or the need to discern traffic patterns.

ADAS Helping Avoid Collisions

A Consumer Reports survey from earlier this year shows that 57 percent of those surveyed credited at least one aspect of their car’s ADAS with preventing them from get-ting into a wreck. The survey, which “provided data on about 72,000 vehicles,” found that most respondents had positive experiences with automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and blind-spot warning (BSW). Blind-spot warning, in fact, was credited by 60 percent of those responding to the survey as having prevented a crash and it was the “system that drivers turned off least often for being annoying.”

Lane-departure warning systems were the least welcome due to “alert chimes, vibrations, or overly aggressive steering corrections” that users found bothersome and ultimately disengaged, Consumer Reports indicated.

While the survey indicates only one in five drivers were looking for specific ADAS features when purchasing their car, 42 percent cred-it AEB with preventing a wreck and that number may increase soon. The Consumer Reports team found that in 2018, 29 percent of new vehicle models sold in the U.S. had standard AEB, while in 2019 the percentage of new vehicles with AEB was at 48 percent. Their research also found that 20 “major automakers have pledged to include standard FCW and city-speed AEB in almost every new vehicle for sale in the U.S. by September 2022.”

Lexus Makes ADAS Standard

By adding Lexus Safety System+ to the 2020 GX 460 Lexus now makes ADAS standard on the entire 2020 Lexus vehicle lineup.

The Lexus Safety System+ includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, intelligent high beams and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection that’s designed to help detect a vehicle or a pedestrian in the path of the Lexus under certain conditions and prompt the driver to take evasive action. It may automatically prepare Brake Assist for increased brake force and, in some cases, automatically brake the vehicle to a stop.

To help provide greater visibility for the driver, as well as fellow drivers, this system offers added illumination. When the road ahead is clear, the system defaults to high-beam mode, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or tail lamps of vehicles ahead. The system also uses radar and camera technology to help drivers maintain a preset speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead. If a driver gets closer than the preset distance, the throttle is automatically reduced, and the brakes may automatically be applied. As soon as the road ahead clears, the GX returns to its preset speed.

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