What is ADAS?
You have seen the commercial. A teenage driver with a car full of friends is coming home from school in the rain and does not see the semi-truck barreling across the intersection, but the car’s robotic sensors see the semi – Danger Will Robinson! – and apply the brakes bring the car to a screeching halt before it gets crushed by the semi. In the commercial, car was brought to a stop by its “Collision Avoidance System”, just one many recent technologies being developed to make vehicles safer. Collectively these technologies are referred to as “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems”. In the auto repair industry, we refer to these technologies as “ADAS” for short. ADAS technologies were developed to automate the driving experience, and use a variety of sensors and cameras to:
- Detect nearby obstacles,
- Counteract human error
- Aid with parallel parking
- Let us know if there is a vehicle in our blind spot
- Take over the mundane task of paying attention to the road so that humans can play on their phone
Interestingly, you may have been an unwitting accomplice in aiding with the development of this technology. To teach the artificial vehicle brains what a stop light or a motorcycle or a crosswalk looks like, many Google has been using reCaptchas like the one shown here. The data gathered from you clicking on the pictures of traffic lights is being harvested by Google and sold to the car manufacturers to help their vehicles identify what a traffic light looks like so their ADAS systems will recognize them.