Evolution of Blind Spot Cameras and Driver Assistance Devices

In the world of consumer and commercial vehicles, driver assistance devices like rear view cameras have been reducing collisions and preventing injuries for more than a decade. But with each innovative idea, technology is getting smarter. Onboard driver assistance devices have evolved from blind spot cameras to incorporate more complex, intuitive controls. Learn about the latest advanced driver assistance systems (ADASs) available and how they're changing the future of navigation.

The Motivation behind ADAS Engineering

Veteran driver assistance technology, like lane departure warning systems and blind spot cameras, have been found to significantly reduce the number of collisions caused by these road hazards. Estimates published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute state that more than 55,000 injuries could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with lane departure alert systems alone.

When accounting for multiple advanced driver assistance systems on one vehicle, the number of injuries, collisions, claims and tickets written for driving infractions could arguably plummet. Thus, engineers are motivated to continue to develop advanced assistance systems to be used on consumer and commercial vehicles.

Cutting Edge ADAS Technology

The latest technology available in certain commercial and passenger vehicles incorporates autonomous driving software and enhanced learning to provide intuitive driver assistance.

Surround View System

A newer ADAS, surround view system gives the driver a birds-eye view of their vehicle. This is particularly helpful when trying to park in tight spaces or avoid oncoming hazards. One manufacturer, Texas Instruments, outlines how the surround view system operates within a vehicle. If launched on commercial vehicles, this technology helps machine operators avoid ditches, trenches, workers and other obstacles when maneuvering heavy equipment in tight spaces.

Pilot Assist

Currently available on select vehicles and coming soon to Nissan in 2018, pilot assist is a cutting edge ADAS that packs assistive technology into a suite of sorts as opposed to a standalone feature. Pilot assist combines adaptive cruise control with automated braking, steering assist, lane change assist, intuitive lighting and other features to make drivers feel like they're in control when, in reality, there is a built-in co-pilot operating their vehicle.

Driver Monitoring with Optalert

According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsiness while driving is related to as many as 6,000 fatal crashes per year. To combat this problem, driver monitoring systems are being developed by Optalert. The use of machine learning pairs with in-vehicle cameras to monitor and predict human behavior, such as distractions or drowsiness, and automatically adjust a vehicle's performance accordingly.

Implications for Commercial Use

Currently underused by commercial vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems could significantly reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities as well as maximize production, vehicle life and improve driver satisfaction. The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association is in the process of advocating increased adoption of ADASs among commercial fleets while highlighting their existing benefit for light vehicles. The thinking behind this move is that as driving becomes more autonomous, there is less room for human error.

The Future of Driver Assistance Technology

There will always be some resistance to full-fledged self-driving vehicles. Next level technological advances are bringing drivers to the brink of autonomy without compromising vehicle control completely. With the goal of improving safety, companies specializing in ADAS engineering continue to push the envelope. What will they think of next?

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