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  • Advantages and challenges of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems)

    Advantages and challenges of ADAS

    Advanced Driver Assistance systems, when managed correctly, can significantly improve driver safety. Whilst technology cannot ever be completely relied upon to improve safety, it can significantly help to encourage better behaviour and avoid potential road hazards.

    However, ADAS has developed and become available on the market with such speed that many fleet drivers, operators, dealers, and insurers are left with challenges surrounding implementation; which options to choose from, training and how far they go to limit risk.

    Fleet Managers need to balance the issues of over-relevance on technology systems with some driver’s mistrust of new technology. On different sides of the scale there are often those drivers that either switch off the technology due to frustrations or lack of knowledge, and those that become over-reliant believing the technology will save them.

    The fact is that 93% of all accidents have been proven to be due to human error (based on a literature survey, Smiley and Brookhuis 1987) and ADAS technology will undoubtedly act as a barrier to this. With the commitment to regular training and awareness of technologies available the benefits of ADAS are becoming clear and measurable.

    At the end of the day, however, every fleet manager should remember that nothing can replace the importance of recruiting and training the responsible, careful drivers.

    Managing an ADAS Fleet

    Both dealerships and manufacturer’s responsibility for educating fleet managers and drivers is key to raising awareness of the technology and how to use it correctly. If a fleet is leased then the leasing company will be responsible for a complete and detailed handover regarding the use of ADAS.

    Unfortunately, calibration of the technology is not currently covered as part of a normal service, yet there is talk of it forming part of the MOT in the future to ensure everything continues to function correctly.

    The technology of an ADAS fleet needs to be managed differently to that of a standard fleet and there are issues around responsibility of fault if the technology was to fail and cause injury. Therefore, keeping everything well calibrated and functioning correctly is something that falls to the fleet manager.

    As technology advances, so does the responsibility of maintaining an ADAS fleet. Due to the nature of technology being ever-changing there are issues around calibration and risks of litigation and motor fleet insurance terms, but there are possibilities that sensors may become self-calibrating in the future. Sensors are likely to become more sensitive with greater capability and therefore continuous training needs to focus on specific requirements and uses.

    Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are developing at a rapid rate. Driver assistance technologies like anti-lock brakes and traction control have developed to more advanced systems such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance assistance, automated emergency braking and blind spot monitoring, and are ever-advancing.

    Next-generation ADAS will increasingly make use of wireless network connectivity to leverage Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2X) data.

    ADAS basically provides drivers with important information about their surroundings as well as automating some tasks to increase safety. Many manufacturers are investing in this area to help differentiate their vehicles from others on the market. The same technologies that enable todays ADAS could also be used in the future to create fully autonomous vehicles.

    The maintenance and calibration of ADAS is a cause for concern to insurers. With insurers putting reduction of accident frequency and reducing whiplash claims as the most important benefits of ADAS, there is no doubt on their importance to fleets. Improving safety will no doubt improve claims value, but what happens when a windscreen needs to be replaced and sensors are not calibrated correctly? Who is responsible and therefore liable when it comes to claims?

    ADAS is clearly an area where standards still need to be put in place, but for now overall investing in ADAS fleet will only prove beneficial.

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