Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco

Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2

Advanced Driver-Assist Features

There have been a lot of talks about fully self-driving cars, but it is important to understand that this is a step-by-step process. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has specified a 5-level framework for defining the level of automation that exists in any vehicle. To reach a fully autonomous, level-5 vehicle, features that automate the decisions the driver must take in certain scenarios must be developed, and then integrated into a single software stack.  Developing features that are responsible for individual tasks and combining them can allow development teams to move from a Level-1 or Level-2 setup to a Level-3 vehicle.

In this blog, we will look at some of the features that can be seen in level-1 or level-2 autonomous vehicles. The Advanced Driver-Assist Features discussed in this blog are active safety features that actively engage with the driver to mitigate the possibility of an accident, and passive safety features that simply warn the driver of a potential obstacle or collision.

Lane Keeping Assist: 

Many road accidents are caused by mundanity. Driving on the same road for hours can make it a less exciting task, causing the driver to doze off and fall asleep. This may cause the vehicle to drift into another lane, endangering the passengers and people in surrounding cars. The Lane Keeping Assist feature is designed to prevent this kind of incident. The setup consists of visual sensors (cameras) for monitoring lane markings and a computer that predicts if the vehicle is going to leave the lane.

Since lane-keeping assist systems need to check if the car is drifting out of the lane, this feature is often seen in level-1 autonomous vehicles. LKA systems are often categorized into two types – active LKA and passive LKA.

Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco

A passive LKA will not interfere with the vehicle controls and will only send a warning to the driver that the vehicle is about to leave lanes. An active LKA, on the other hand, will also attempt to correct the vehicle’s deviation from the intended path. This correction may involve controlling the steering or controlling the speed of a particular wheel on the front axle (e.g., by reducing the speed of the left front wheel, the vehicle will drift slightly to the left).

Lane Change Assist

A lane change assist is a passive safety feature that activates when the driver switches on the turning indicators while changing lanes.  It is often coupled with a blind-spot detection system that helps the driver know of any obstacles that aren’t visible through rear-view mirrors.  The LCA system generally uses cameras and radar sensors to sense if there are any vehicles approaching the host vehicle in the target lane.  By estimating the speed of the approaching vehicle, the system decides if it is safe to execute the lane-changing maneuver.  If the approaching vehicle’s speed is too high, it will send a warning to the driver.

Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco

Lane change assists are generally helpful in harsh driving conditions like inclement weather, night driving, or dense fog.  These conditions prohibit the driver from accurately understanding the surroundings, and using a driver-assist system like LCA can help mitigate the possibility of an accident.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Cruise control is a feature seen in many modern automobiles.  When activated, the system maintains a constant speed even if the driver takes their foot off the pedal. If there is a slower vehicle in front of the host vehicle, the cruise control can easily be deactivated by engaging the brake pedal (or clutch pedal in case of manual transmissions). With the advent of high-performance sensors in vehicles recently, automakers have made modifications to the cruise control feature.

Now, it also senses the distance between the vehicle in front and the host vehicle. There are two modes of engaging the throttle pedal in adaptive cruise control (ACC), namely velocity tracking and distance tracking. Logic is built into this system that switches between these two modes based on a simple rule – if the distance between the vehicle in front and the host vehicle is less than a pre-set distance, then the vehicle switches to distance tracking mode.

In distance tracking mode, the vehicle varies the velocity in order to maintain a safe distance from the leading vehicle.  When there are no obstacles within the pre-set range, the vehicle maintains a constant velocity set by the driver while activating the ACC system.

Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco Advanced Driver-Assist Features: Part 2 | Dorleco

Thus, as long as there is no emergency case, the driver doesn’t need to take over control of the vehicle when the ACC is engaged, as the system will adapt to the conditions and slow down the vehicle whenever required. 

ADAS Feature Development at Dorleco:

If you want to learn more about the technical aspects of these features, such as modeling and simulating them in virtual environments, consider applying for our training programs.  You can register for our live online training programs or follow our self-paced courses to get an in-depth understanding of developing autonomous systems.

For discussing how our expertise in ADAS feature development can be of use to you, contact

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