Advanced driver-assistance systems may make repairs more expensive, but they do have the potential to make roads safer. However, even the best car safety features aren’t invincible or perfect. And if drivers don’t understand how their ADAS features work, there can be fatal consequences. So, it doesn’t help when automakers call the same feature by different names. The guide below, though, should make things clearer.
What are ADAS features?
Strictly speaking, ADAS features fall into the broad category of car safety features. And as their name implies, they assist the driver with operating a vehicle safely. But technically, things like traction control and ABS are driver-assistance features, too, Car and Driver says. So, what makes some of these features ‘advanced’?
Using traction control and ABS as examples, these safety features monitor your vehicle’s condition through sensor data. They don’t care what’s happening outside your car, just about its mechanical status. Advanced driver-assistance system features, on the other hand, actively monitor the surrounding environment and/or the driver, J.D. Power explains. That way, they can warn drivers about impending collisions and, in extreme cases, actively prevent them, the IIHS reports.
With that in mind, the following safety features are typically grouped into the ADAS category:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Adaptive cruise control
- Adaptive headlights
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Forward- and rear-collision warning
- Front and rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keeping assist
Automakers often use different names for their ADAS features
Besides the state of technology, one major issue with ADAS features is driver confusion. Sometimes this stems from dealership employees not explaining these safety features properly. But as noted earlier, a significant factor is “confusing” automaker-specific terminology, Consumer Reports says.
Some brands refer to their driver-assistance features fairly plainly. Others, though, use trademarked terms or ‘buzzwords’ instead. So, if you’re shopping based on safety features, the table below should help (names sourced from automakers and MotorTrend).
|Brand||Automatic emergency braking||Adaptive cruise control||Adaptive headlights||Blind-spot monitoring||Collision warning||Cross-traffic alert||Lane-departure warning||Lane-keeping assist|
|Acura||Collision Mitigation Braking System||Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow||Auto High-Beam Headlights||Blind Spot Information System or Blind Spot Assist||Forward Collision Warning System||Rear Cross Traffic Monitor||Road Departure Mitigation System and Lane Departure Warning System||Lane Keeping Assist System|
|Alfa Romeo||Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go||Automatic High-Beam Headlamp Control||Active Blind Spot Assist||Forward Collision Warning||Rear Cross Path System||Lane Departure Warning||LaneSense Lane Keep Assist|
|Audi||Audi Pre Sense Front/City||Adaptive Cruise Assist||High Beam Assist||Audi Side Assist||Pedestrian and Stationary Vehicle Detection||Audi Pre Sense Rear or Rear Collision Detection||Lane Departure Warning||Active Lane Assist|
|BMW||Emergency Brake Assist||Distance Control or Adaptive Cruise Control||Automatic High Beams||Active Blind Spot Detection||Frontal Collision Warning||Cross-Traffic Alert Front||Lane Departure Warning||Active Lane Keeping Assistant|
|Buick||(Enhanced) Automatic Emergency Braking or Front Pedestrian Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||Automatic On/Off Headlamps||Side Blind Zone Alert||Forward Collision Alert||Rear Cross Traffic Alert||Lane Change Alert and Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning|
|Cadillac||(Enhanced) Automatic Emergency Braking or Front Pedestrian Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||Intellibeam Auto High-Beam Assist||Side Blind Zone Alert||Forward Collision Alert||Rear Cross Traffic Alert or Rear Pedestrian Alert||Lane Change Alert and Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning|
|Chevrolet||(Enhanced) Automatic Emergency Braking or Front Pedestrian Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||Intellibeam Auto High-Beam Assist||Side Blind Zone Alert||Forward Collision Alert||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning|
|Chrysler||Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go||Automatic High-Beam Headlamp Control||Blind Spot Monitoring or Blind Spot Detection||Full-Speed Forward-Collision Warning||Rear Cross Path Detection||LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist or Lane Departure Warning Plus||LaneSense Lane Keep Assist|
|Dodge||Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go||Automatic High-Beam Headlamp Control||Blind Spot Monitoring or Blind Spot Detection||Full-Speed Forward-Collision Warning||Rear Cross Path Detection||LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist or Lane Departure Warning Plus||LaneSense Lane Keep Assist|
|Fiat||Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control or Adaptive Speed Control||Automatic High-Beam Headlamp Control||Blind Spot Monitoring or Blind Spot Detection||Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning||Rear Cross Path Detection||LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist or Lane Departure Warning Plus||LaneSense Lane Keep Assist|
|Ford||Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking||Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control or Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering||Auto High-Beam Headlamps||Blind Spot Monitoring or Blind Spot Detection||Pre-Collision Assist||Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Keeping Alert||Lane-Keeping System|
|Genesis||Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection||Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start||High Beam Assist||Blind Spot Detection||Forward Collision-Warning Assist||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Change Alert and Lane Departure Warning||Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist|
|GMC||(Enhanced) Automatic Emergency Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||Intellibeam Auto High Beam Assist||Side Blind Zone Alert||Forward Collision Alert||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning|
|Honda||Collision Mitigation Braking System||Adaptive Cruise Control||Auto High-Beam Headlights||Blind Spot Information System||Forward Collision Warning||Cross Traffic Monitor||Road Departure Mitigation System and Lane Departure Warning System||Lane Keeping Assist System|
|Hyundai||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist||Smart Cruise Control||High Beam Assist||Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Blind-Spot View Monitor||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist||Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist||Lane Keeping Assist with Lane Departure Warning||Lane Following Assist and Lane Keeping Assist|
|Infiniti||Forward Emergency Braking||Intelligent Cruise Control||Adaptive Front Lighting System||Blind Spot Intervention System||Predictive Collision Warning||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Prevention with Active Lane Control||Lane Departure Prevention|
|Jaguar||High-Speed Emergency Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist||Adaptive Front Lighting System||Blind Spot Monitor and Blind Spot Assist||Emergency Braking||Rear Traffic Monitor||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist|
|Kia||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist or Auto Emergency Braking & Warning||Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go||High Beam Assist||Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Blind-Spot View Monitor||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist||Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning||Lane Keeping Assist with Lane Departure Warning||Lane Following Assist and Lane Keeping Assist|
|Land Rover||High-Speed Emergency Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||Adaptive Driving Beam||Blind Spot Assist||Emergency Braking||Rear Collision Monitor and Rear Traffic Monitor||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist|
|Lexus||Pre-Collision System with Automatic Emergency Braking||Dynamic Radar Cruise Control||Intelligent High Beams||Blind Spot Monitor||Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Alert||Lane Keep Assist|
|Lincoln||Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go||Auto High-Beam Headlamps||Blind Spot Detection and Blind Spot Information System||Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection||Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane-Keeping System||Lane Centering and Lane-Keeping System|
|Maserati||Autonomous Emergency Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go||Adaptive Headlights||Active Blind Spot Assist||Forward Collision Warning Plus||Rear Cross Path||Lane Keeping Assist||Lane Keeping Assist|
|Mazda||Smart Brake Support and Smart City Brake Support||Mazda Radar Cruise Control||Adaptive LED Headlight and High-Beam Control System||Blind Spot Monitoring||Forward Obstruction Warning||Rear Vehicle Monitoring||Lane Departure Warning System||Lane-Keep Assist System|
|Mercedes-Benz||Active Brake Assist||Active Distance Assist Distronic Cruise Control||Adaptive Highbeam Assist||(Active) Blind Spot Assist||Collision Prevention Assist Plus||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Active Lane Keeping Assist||Active Lane Keeping Assist|
|Mini||Automatic Emergency Braking||Adaptive or Active Cruise Control||Adaptive Headlights||Blind-Spot Monitoring||Pedestrian and Front Collision Warning||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keeping Assist|
|Mitsubishi||Forward Collision Mitigation|
and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking
|Adaptive Cruise Control||Automatic High Beam||Blind Spot Warning and Active Blind Spot Assist||Forward Collision Mitigation with Pedestrian Detection||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keep Assist|
|Nissan||Automatic Emergency Braking and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking||Intelligent Cruise Control||High Beam Assist||Blind Spot Warning||Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning||ProPilot Lane Keeping Assist|
|Polestar||Emergency Stop Assist||Adaptive Cruise Control||Active High Beam||Blind Spot Information System with Steering Assist||Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist||Rear Collision Warning & Mitigation and Cross Traffic Alert with Auto Brake||Lane Keeping Aid||Lane Keeping Aid and Pilot Assist|
|Porsche||Collision and Brake Assist||Adaptive Cruise Control||Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus||Blind-Spot Monitoring and Lane Change Assist||Collision and Brake Assist||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with Rear Turn Assist||Lane Departure Warning||Lane Keeping Assist|
|Ram||Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go||Adaptive Headlights||Blind Spot Monitoring||Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking||Rear Cross Path and Trailer Detection||LaneSense Lane Departure Warning||LaneSense Lane Keep Assist|
|Subaru||Pre-Collision Braking||Adaptive Cruise Control||LED Steering Responsive Headlights with High Beam Assist||Blind-Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist||Pre-Collision Braking||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure and Sway Warning||Lane Keep Assist|
|Tesla||Automatic Emergency Braking||Traffic-Aware Cruise Control||Adaptive Headlights||Blind Spot Collision Warning||Forward Collision Warning||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Avoidance||Lane-Keeping Assist|
|Toyota||Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection||Dynamic Radar Cruise Control||Automatic High Beams||Blind Spot Monitor||Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection||Rear Cross-Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Alert||Lane Tracing Assist|
|Volkswagen||Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist)||Adaptive Cruise Control||High Beam Control (Light Assist)||Active Blind Spot Monitor||Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist)||Rear Traffic Alert||Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist)||Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist)|
|Volvo||City Safety Collision Avoidance Technology||Adaptive Cruise Control||Active Headlamps||Blind Spot Information System||Collision Warning with Pedestrian Detection||Cross-Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Warning||Oncoming Lane Mitigation||Lane Keeping Aid|
Partial-autonomy suites build on this technology
To make things easier on customers, automakers sometimes bundle their ADAS features into a single ‘suite.’ Toyota, for example, calls its suite Safety Sense, while Honda offers Honda Sensing and Subaru sells EyeSight. And Tesla, infamously, has AutoPilot, which leads to an important point.
Driver-assistance features, ADAS or otherwise, don’t make cars partially autonomous on their own. They have to be linked with additional features and software before they can get to Level 2 on the SAE scale. For instance, Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite has multiple ADAS features, but it requires an additional Prep Package to offer Level 2 partial-autonomy. Ditto with GM’s SuperCruise—it uses adaptive cruise control but is more than just that.
Navigating a safety spec sheet is difficult enough without having to keep multiple names in your head. But hopefully, this guide makes your next car shopping decision easier.
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