ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System) is arguably the hottest topics in the automotive scene today.

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System) 

The idea of Autonomous Cars and Electric Vehicles or EVs sent a chill down the spine of the car aficionado in me, even in my pre-teens – much before I learnt to drive. It still does. But, since it is one of the hottest topics in the industry and as an automotive blogger I can’t shirk off a subject if it’s even remotely automotive.

I like my cars analogue – unadulterated driving. Period. Care for a 1986 BMW 316 (E30)? Heck, I even preferred The Flintstones over The Jetsons! 

What is an “Autonomous car”?

To put it simply – it’s a car which can take cognizance of its environment and drive you or itself to a pre-determined destination with little to no human intervention. Autonomous cars basically use an array of sensors like radars, ultrasonics, video cameras and LIDARS (Light Detection and Ranging) to take cognizance of the environment and send all the information to high performance processors. 

The complex, pre-set algorithms, software and processors perform the task of driving the car via actuators which in a level-0 car a human would perform (tasks like accelerating, steering, braking, changing gears etc). All of this happens in REAL-TIME. Most of them use the Bayesian Simultaneous Localization & Mapping (SLAM) algorithms. 

Six levels of automation

SAE defines and demarcates six levels of automation; 

  • Level 0 – Little or no automation; human involvement is required at all times. 
  • Level 1 – Has some amount of automation like cruise control or park assist where the steering is automated and driver still controls the throttle and brake. 
  • Level 2 – This is where ADAS comes in and one of the topics of this piece. It’s the hot word today in the mass end of the Indian Automotive Spectrum. MG Astor, Mahindra XUV7OO, the latest iteration of the Hyundai Verna and Honda City are banking on their ADAS features as USPs, in their segments. Cars with ADAS have Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)—can keep a watch on lane and can even brake for you in an emergency.
  • Level 3 – This is a conditional automation level in which the cars are capable of taking cognizance of its surroundings and can perform tasks expected from a driver, but human override cannot be ruled out.
  • Level 4 – This is a high automation level but not fully autonomous yet. Level 4 cars can operate with optional human intervention provided there is geo-fencing in place (within specific areas, speed limits, markings and the whole shebang).
  • Level 5 – This is the full autonomy level—no human intervention required, not even a steering wheel or pedals. This is where the car’s “CPU is without fear and the throttle is held high. Where knowledge is free….” Okay. That’s enough poetry and tomfoolery.

Where India stands?

Let’s address the elephant in the room now — is India ready for ADAS or Level 2 automation yet? Or do they just earn the car’s spec sheet some bragging rights and gimmicks?

In my opinion – it’s the latter in the current scenario or even in the near future for that matter. For ADAS to work efficiently and unobtrusively the following are imperative: 1. Well-marked lanes. 2. Signboards which adhere to global standards. 3. Orderly roads and surroundings, with disciplined road users. It is needless to say the majority of roads lack all the aforementioned attributes. 

Major Deterrent

The other major deterrent is – the psyche and psychic development of our populace. Let’s admit it, we are a reckless lot and tend to misuse things more than using it appropriately. We’ve seen people making social media reels with ADAS on. ADAS never means “no human intervention”. It is only an “assist” and an alert driver is still required as long as the car is in motion. At the end of the day ADAS is based on electronics and they might crash at any moment.

The other psyche which concerns me is the attentiveness and attention span of people since the integration of social media and smartphones in our lives. It has reduced drastically and man is not completely mentally present in congruence to his physical presence (and women too). Thus, to put it straight, India is not ADAS-ready yet in my opinion.

Shared by, 
Zeeshan Dawood | Auto Enthusiast

Disclaimer: Information is submitted by the owner of the vehicle through online form medium. Volklub-Sunderdeep Singh doesn't take any responsibility to confirm accuracy or authenticity of the information provided. Readers are requested to make their opinion by reading from other means as well and do take a test drive of the car you are interested in and ask all doubts from the authentic service/sales advisors in a particular brand.

Sole purpose of this review is to try providing readers with factual information where other readers have shared their ownership experiences that may help readers for their car buying decision.

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