Blind Spot Warning (BSW) Is One of Consumer Reports’ Best ADAS

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are working hard to keep drivers safer while on the roads. The ADAS label applies to a variety of driver safety systems available on new cars. Which ones are most important? Consumer Reports says systems like Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), and Rear Cross-Traffic Warning (RCTW) are the most popular ADAS among drivers.

Blind Spot Warning (BSW) is one of the most helpful advanced driver assistance systems

Consumer Reports best advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
Cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on the highway | Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

When Consumer Reports asked people which ADAS features help the most while driving, blind-spot warning was high on the list. 64% of drivers said the BSW feature was satisfactory. This safety feature helps warn drivers if a vehicle is in the lane next to the car, especially if someone tries to switch lanes.

Consumer Reports says it awards points to automakers that have BSW standard on all trim levels. BSW is usually placed on side mirrors, where most people will be looking before changing lanes anyway. Consumers noted that BSW was helpful in preventing crashes and would not buy a car without it at this point. BSW is working its way to being one of the most common ADAS.

Rear Cross-Traffic Warning (RCTW) and Backup Camera systems are high-rated ADAS

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Consumer Reports noted that 72% of those who took the survey were satisfied with the Rear Cross-Traffic Warning (RCTW) system. The backup camera system came in at 69%. RCTW warns drivers if there is something in the way while the vehicle backs up. This is especially important with large SUVs and trucks where visibility might be limited.

As of May 2018, federal law requires all vehicles have a backup camera. Some are better than others, and those with large screens have better ratings. That is because it makes it easier to see if something is actually behind the car as it backs up. These two ADAS improve the driving experience while making it safer for others as well.

59% of drivers approve of the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system

On the Consumer Reports survey from drivers, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) had a 59% overall satisfaction score. AEB helps automatically brake in situations where it can help prevent a crash. AEB comes in a few varieties, though, which can be confusing for people. Some work best at highway speed; some focus on pedestrian detection. Either way, AEB is one of the highest-rated advanced driver assistance systems.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) came in at 56% satisfaction from drivers on this survey. FCW gives people a visual or audio warning if an accident is about to happen. It can bring a distracted driver’s attention back to the road if a car stops suddenly. Consumer Reports gives extra points to automakers that offer FCW on all models.

Don’t forget Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for those who sit in traffic a lot

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses sensors to help maintain a speed on the highway. ACC can help accelerate or brake to ensure the vehicle in front is at a safe distance. Drivers noted that the system was helpful on long drives and in stop-and-go traffic. One driver said it reduces tension and fatigue while driving. Kelly Funkhouser, manager for vehicle technology at CR, says that while ACC is helpful, it shouldn’t be a replacement for paying attention to the roads.

Consumer Reports noted that Stellantis brands like Chrysler, Jeep and Ram are usually at the top of these lists. That’s because the automaker will add the technology on all trim levels instead of making people pay extra for one feature or another. Brands like Honda and Acura are at the bottom of these lists. Most new cars require an additional add-on or trim level upgrade to get more advanced driver assistance systems.

As technology improves, more of these ASAS will be included as standard equipment. If one of these is important to you, be sure to inquire if it is included or not. You might want to opt for an additional safety or technology package to get everything you need.

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