Although a number of OEMs already offer speed assist and driver monitoring systems as standard in their vehicles, the main focus of OEMs currently is on FCWS and LDWS, both of which are key ADAS systems specified in the EuroNCAP specifications.
The present EuroNCAP specifications for ADAS systems are mainly focused on low-speed or urban-type driving environments which means that optical cameras, (despite their limitations in poor visibility conditions) will be the most popular sensor used for obstacle detection, lane departure warning, and blind spot detection.
However, advances in technology coupled with an expected drop in prices, means that radar sensors will increasingly be deployed in mass-market vehicles over the next three years. “Radar sensors work in all weather conditions, but until now have been confined to front-facing applications in luxury car brands,” comments Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research. “As volumes increase and costs decrease, multiple radar sensors will be fitted all around a vehicle which will be used for other applications.”
Developments in optical technology coupled with more advanced algorithms and higher processing capabilities means that the performace of optical systems will also improve, with some vendors claiming that this will enable new applications for optical systems such as vision-only advanced cruise control systems. However, according to Owen it is likely that OEMs will prefer to fit integrated sensors which combine more than one sensing technology (for example, camera and radar) and a number of integrated sensor modules have already started to appear on the market from several vendors.
The increasing adoption of ADAS systems is an essential part of the drive towards autonomous vehicles. In fact, semi-autonomous vehicles are already a reality today with a number of OEMs deploying or announcing plans to include innovations such as traffic jam assistants (which can control the steering at keep a car 'in-lane' at low speeds) and parking assistants (which can park a car automatically without any intervention from