ADAS Full Form: The Ultimate Guide to Its Types and Functionality

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 12th March, 2024 IST


Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are becoming one of the hallmarks of modern vehicles, offering a wide range of avant-garde features aimed at making your driving experience safer, more efficient and enjoyable. From automatic emergency braking to lane departure warning systems, ADAS technologies are transforming the way we drive, one little update at a time.

ADAS has carefully been designed with you, the modern driver, in mind. With the many quirks of today's lifestyle, it's important to make driving as easy and stress-free as possible. Whether you're commuting to work, going on a road trip or running errands, ADAS technologies are there to simplify and safeguard your journey.

In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the different types of ADAS, their functions and the bouquet of benefits they bring to your driving experience. From adaptive cruise control to parking assist, we'll touch upon some of the most popular ADAS, so you can get a better understanding of the many ways in which they can enhance your driving experience.

What is ADAS?

What is ADAS?

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, commonly referred to as ADAS, embody a suite of cutting-edge technologies and features expressly crafted to bolster driving safety and convenience. Utilising an array of sensors, cameras, and other sophisticated devices, these advanced systems can detect potential hazards and assist drivers in avoiding accidents or collisions.

ADAS encompasses a spectrum of features, including, but not limited to, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot detection. These features come together to help drivers remain focused on the road and stay out of harm's way.

Without a doubt, ADAS technology represents a major step in vehicle safety and is increasingly prevalent in modern cars. By aiding drivers in navigating the road and evading accidents, ADAS imbues driving with an added layer of safety, making it a more enjoyable experience for all road users.

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How does ADAS work?

How does ADAS work?

Autonomous vehicles are radically transforming the automobile industry, making the next generation of advanced, mobile-connected devices a real possibility. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), are broken down into various chips which are referred to as systems on a chip (SoCs). These SoCs work by connecting the sensors through electronic control units (ECUs) to operate efficiently.

ADAS are a collection of technologies that work together to provide assistance to drivers and enhance their driving experience. It uses a combination of cameras, radars, LIDARs, and ultrasonic sensors to provide the car with a well-rounded understanding of its surroundings. These systems process the inflow of data and communicate with the car's ECU, Radar, LIDAR, GPS, and Wheel Encoder which makes critical and timely decisions and adjusts the car's movements accordingly.

All these technologies work together to improve driving safety, reduce the risk of accidents, and make the roads safer. 

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What are the different ADAS Levels?

There are six levels of driving automation, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). As we progress through these levels, drivers are granted greater freedom and autonomy, as the responsibility for driving tasks shifts from the human operator to the automated systems. The 6 ADAS levels are as follows:

  1. Level 0: No Automation

The driver is responsible for all aspects of driving, and there is no automation involved.

  1. Level 1: Driver Assistance

The vehicle features one automated system, such as cruise control or lane departure warning, that assists the driver.

  1. Level 2: Partial Automation

The vehicle features two or more automated systems that work in tandem to assist the driver with steering, braking, and acceleration.

  1. Level 3: Conditional Automation

The vehicle can manage most aspects of driving, but the driver must be prepared to take control if necessary.

  1. Level 4: High Automation

The vehicle can perform all driving tasks under certain conditions, such as on a highway or in a specific geographic area.

  1. Level 5: Full Automation

The vehicle can perform all driving tasks in any situation without any human intervention.

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What is the difference between Active ADAS and Passive ADAS?

Active ADAS actively intervenes to prevent accidents, while passive ADAS provides feedback after an accident occurs. Active systems are more complex and expensive but have the potential to significantly reduce accidents, while passive systems are simpler and less expensive, but only mitigate the severity of accidents.

Here are some of the common points of difference between Active ADAS and Passive ADAS: 

Key DifferencesActive ADASPassive ADAS
ControlActive systems actively intervene to prevent accidents.Passive systems do not intervene and only provide feedback after an accident occurs.
FunctionalityActive systems are designed to detect potential hazards and take corrective action to avoid accidents.Passive systems provide information or warnings to the driver but do not take any direct action.
ExamplesActive systems include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.Passive systems include airbags, seat belts, and reinforced vehicle structures.
IntegrationActive systems are integrated with other vehicle systems, such as engine and transmission control.Passive systems are standalone components that do not interact with other vehicle systems.
CostActive systems are typically more expensive due to their advanced technology and integration with other systems.Passive systems are generally less expensive due to their simpler design and standalone nature.
EffectivenessActive systems have the potential to significantly reduce accidents and improve driving safety.Passive systems can mitigate the severity of accidents but do not prevent accidents from occurring.

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What are the different types of ADAS Sensors?

The different ADAS sensors work in tandem to provide a comprehensive view of the vehicle's surroundings, detecting potential hazards and providing information to the ADAS system to assist the driver in avoiding accidents or collisions. Each sensor has its strengths and limitations, and ADAS systems often utilise multiple sensors to provide redundancy and enhance overall performance.

There are several types of sensors used in ADAS technology. Here are the main ones:

  • Radar

Uses radio waves to detect objects and measure their distance, speed, and direction of movement.

  • Lidar

Uses laser light to create a 3D map of the vehicle's surroundings, allowing for precise detection of objects and their distance.

  • Camera

Uses optical sensors to capture images of the vehicle's surroundings, providing information about lane markings, traffic signs, and other vehicles.

  • Ultrasonic

Uses high-frequency sound waves to detect objects and measure their distance.

  • Infrared

Uses heat-sensitive sensors to detect objects, especially in low-light conditions.

  • GPS

Uses satellite signals to determine the vehicle's location, speed, and direction of movement, providing useful information for navigation and traffic management.

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What are the different ADAS features?

There are many different ADAS features available in modern vehicles, each designed to improve driving safety and convenience. These ADAS features work together to enhance driving safety and convenience, providing drivers with valuable assistance and feedback to help them navigate the road safely and efficiently. New ADAS features are constantly being developed and added to vehicles, representing an exciting area of innovation in the automotive industry.

Here are some of the most common ADAS features:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

Imagine cruising on the surreal highways without having to worry about the vehicle in front of you suddenly slowing down. This is what Adaptive Cruise Control offers – a stress-free driving experience by adjusting the speed of your car and maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, ensuring you never tailgate or have to brake suddenly again.

  • Glare-Free High Beam and Pixel Light

If you're driving in the dark, the Glare-Free High Beam and Pixel Light technology helps optimise your headlights for maximum visibility. The glare-free high beam adjusts its beam to avoid shining directly into oncoming traffic, while Pixel Light enhances the quality of light from your headlights, helping other road users see you.

  • Adaptive Light Control

If you're driving on a foggy night, with limited visibility, the Adaptive Light Control adjusts your vehicle's headlights in response to various driving conditions, providing maximum visibility and safety on the road. Whether you're driving through a long tunnel or in heavy rain, this technology ensures your headlights are always adjusted for optimal lighting.

  • Automatic Parking

It is terrifying to park your vehicle in a tight space after having to manoeuvre it multiple times. That's where the Automatic Parking technology takes the stress out of your parking experience by automatically steering your car into a parking spot, whether you're parallel parking or navigating a confined parking space.

  • Autonomous Valet Parking

Imagine pulling up to a parking space, stepping out of your car, and having it park itself. Futuristic? Yes. Possible? Also, yes. Autonomous Valet Parking offers a hassle-free parking experience. With this cutting-edge technology, you can drop off your vehicle at the entrance of a parking facility and have it park itself.

  • Navigation System

If you're driving in a new city, with no local guide to help you, the Navigation System acts as a personal guide. Whether you're exploring a new city or taking a road trip, modern Navigation Systems make foldable maps redundant while making it easier for you to reach your destination.

  • Night Vision

This cutting-edge technology illuminates the road in challenging low-light conditions. If your car is equipped with night vision, you can navigate with ease and comfort, even in the dead of night. The advanced imaging technology detects objects and shows them on your vehicle's display, ensuring that you're aware of your surroundings.

  • Automatic Emergency Braking

This is a life-saving technology that uses sensors and cameras to detect potential collisions and automatically apply the brakes to avoid or minimise the impact. The automatic emergency braking works to keep you and your passengers safe at all times.

  • Driver Monitoring System

This technology is equipped with cameras and sensors to keep you alert and focused on the road. It also monitors your driving behaviour and alerts you if it detects any signs of fatigue or distraction. With this feature, you can be sure that you're always alert, aware, and driving in the best possible conditions.

  • 5G and V2X

These technologies boost your vehicle's connectivity, enabling it to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure on the road. With 5G and V2X, you can enjoy a safer driving experience, with real-time traffic updates for improved route suggestions and warnings to help you avoid accidents and traffic jams.

  • Lane Departure Warning

This technology alerts you if you're drifting out of your lane, helping you stay on track and avoid accidents. With lane departure warning, you can drive with confidence on even the busiest roads, knowing that you're not making the roads unsafe for yourself and other road users.

  • Blind Spot Detection

This technology immediately alerts you if there's a vehicle in your blind spot, helping you change lanes safely. With blind spot detection, you can be sure that you're aware of all the surrounding vehicles, ensuring that you make safe and informed decisions while driving.

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What are the different ADAS Components?

Several components make up an ADAS system. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Sensors

These include cameras, radar, lidar, ultrasonic, and other sensors that detect objects and provide information about the vehicle's surroundings.

  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

This is the brain of the ADAS system, which processes the information from the sensors and determines the appropriate response, such as applying the brakes or steering the vehicle.

  • Actuators:

These are the physical components that carry out the instructions from the ECU, such as the brakes or the steering system.

  • Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

This is the interface between the ADAS system and the driver, providing information and feedback to the driver about the system's operation and any potential hazards detected.

  • Data Storage

ADAS systems often store data, such as images from cameras or information from sensors, to improve their performance and provide valuable information for future analysis and development.

  • Connectivity

Many modern ADAS systems are connected to the internet, allowing for over-the-air updates and remote monitoring and diagnostics.

What is the future of ADAS?

As we march into the age of technology and the demand for safer, more efficient and stress-free driving experiences grows, the development of ADAS technologies is expected to flourish. This is going to result in the introduction of new and improved technologies to provide drivers with a greater level of safety and comfort.

As autonomous driving technologies continue to improve, the number of fully autonomous vehicles is bound to rise. These vehicles will provide drivers with an unprecedented level of safety, security, and convenience.

ADAS technologies are an important part of the cars of the future, and proper research and development initiatives will play a significant role in shaping the future of driving. It's safe to say that we can look forward to a future in which driving is safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable than ever before.

Differences between ADAS and Autonomous Driving

ADAS and Autonomous Driving are two different technologies. While ADAS refers to a collection of technologies designed to help improve the overall safety of the driving experience, autonomous driving, on the other hand, stems from the idea of vehicles being smart enough to drive themselves without human intervention.

While cars like the MG Astor with the latest ADAS technologies are becoming more nuanced and sophisticated, they still need the driver to be in control of the vehicle at all times. But, cars like the Tesla Model S, which are equipped with autonomous driving, can drive themselves, with little or no intervention from the driver.

Benefits and Limitations of ADAS

It's important to note that ADAS is not a substitute for drivers and that they still need to pay attention to the road and follow road safety guidelines. Some of the limitations of ADAS include heavy reliance on cameras and sensors, which can become dirty or dysfunctional, and the need for regular system updates and maintenance to keep your car working effectively. Additionally, the cost of ADAS systems can be a limiting factor for consumers who are considering purchasing a cheaper, more affordable vehicle.

What are some of the best ADAS-equipped cars in India? 

The Indian car market is bustling with a range of cars that are equipped with ADAS. Here are some of the most popular ones: 

  1. MG Astor
  2. Tata Safari
  3. Mahindra XUV700
  4. Toyota Innova Hycross
  5. Honda City e:HEV
  6. MG Hector 

Remember, ADAS is like having a reliable co-pilot in your car, guiding you on your journey. It also comes with the added advantage of your car being able to see things that you can't. This is why it's important to understand the different features of ADAS so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a new vehicle.

By embracing this technology, you can help make the roads a safer place for everyone and enjoy a more relaxed and stress-free driving experience. So, the next time you're in the market for a new vehicle, be sure to consider one with the latest features in ADAS technology. After all, wouldn't you want a little bit of extra help when it comes to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe?


Q. What are driver assistance systems?

Driver assistance systems (DAS) are a set of technologies in modern-day vehicles that provide additional support to make the driving experience safe, convenient, and enjoyable.

Q. What is the ADAS features list?

ADAS features can include Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, and more.

Q. Can I install ADAS in my car?

Yes, it is possible to install ADAS in your car, but it is recommended to check with your mechanic or car dealership for compatibility and installation procedures.

Q. How many systems are there in the ADAS?

ADAS is not a single system but rather a collection of various technologies and features that are designed to enhance the safety and convenience of driving. The number of systems in ADAS can vary depending on how they are categorized, but typically they include features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking, among others.

Q. What is an ADAS sensor?

An ADAS sensor is a component that detects and measures physical properties, such as distance, speed, or direction, to provide information about the vehicle's surroundings. These sensors are used in various ADAS features, such as cameras for lane departure warnings, radar for adaptive cruise control, and ultrasonic sensors for parking assistance.

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