Reading Time: 3 minutes
Whether we like it or not, the fact is that the world is becoming more automated. Our vehicles are not immune to this fact and it is important that we understand advancements like driver assist and what it means for the modern automobile owner. Is it a scary new thing or a helpful tool?
As the name indicates, driver assist – or advanced driver-assistance systems – is a system which helps the driver operate the vehicle. Basically, these systems make use of various technologies to ensure traveling in a vehicle is safer by automating, supplementing, or adapting some or all of the tasks involved in controlling an automobile.
What Are Some Examples Of Driver Assist?
Many people tend to jump straight to the conclusion that the car will be in total control of the driving experience when they hear the concept of driver assist. The reality is more complicated because although in theory, advanced driver assist systems may make use of things such as radar and artificial intelligence to drive vehicles in the future, this is not entirely what driver assist is. In fact, you may have been using driver assist technologies without even knowing it for quite some time. An example of this is “ABS” or the anti-lock braking system which prevents the cars wheels from locking up and the car skidding when braking. This is a rudimentary example of driver assist.
ABS is however not what most people think of when they consider driver assist though. Most people want to know about the more modern advancements. These include things like:
Accident Prevention SystemsFor example, the driver assist system may prevent you from switching lanes without properly indicating a lane change thereby preventing accidents.
Drowsiness AwarenessHere the system will monitor various driving behaviors as well as the climate in the vehicle from changes in breathing. It will then register that you may be a fatigued and institute a driver alert or action to awaken you to ensure that you are alert and capable of driving.
Active Cruise ControlHere a radar may gauge the speed of the car in front of you and automatically adjust your speed by slowing your car down if the car in front of you is traveling slower than you for example. This negates the need to constantly activate and deactivate the cruise control mechanism which can be especially beneficial on long trips.
Automated ParkingParallel parking has been the bane of many drivers’ existences. With the advancement in radar and on-board camera technology, some vehicles can now parallel park themselves. This feature can be especially helpful if you live in densely populated areas and hate/aren’t great at parallel parking.
What Types Of Cars Have Driver Assist?
Most modern cars will have some sort of driver assist features in them already, with some vehicles having more advanced features than others. Vehicles such as the 2018 Mercedes E Class and BMW 5 series are examples of automobiles that are at the top of the driver assist “food chain” and exemplify the huge advancement in modern automotive technology.
What Is The Downside?
Depending on who you are, you may not think all of this assistance is great or necessary. It boils down to a personal preference. Some people feel that it removes you from the pure pleasure of the driving experience.
Furthermore, like human drivers (but statistically speaking, less so) driver assist is not perfect and there may be hiccups along the way that are yet to be discovered.
Ultimately, driver assist is designed to make travel comfier, less burdensome, and safer. Some of us may be thrilled at the prospect of driver assist whereas others won’t be as enthusiastic. The question of whether it is a scary or useful tool will be left to the individual driver to decide on. The technology is however here to stay for the foreseeable future.
As South Florida’s Premier German Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility – we at Foreign Affairs Motorsport look forward to seeing what the future holds for driver assist. The chances of the driving experience being removed is not something we believe will happen easily – it’s a matter of preference, but once all things automotive is in your blood, there is no getting rid of it!