ADAS, or advanced driver assistance systems, are evolving quickly. These “smart” systems of sensors and microprocessors reside inside and around a vehicle to provide a wealth of information to the driver and other connected devices.

An ADAS system might provide and act upon information about traffic, blockage of roads, obstacles, vehicle condition, or even the driver of the vehicle itself. The system might evaluate the driver for warning signals of fatigue and distraction. In some cases, it can direct the vehicle to perform specific tasks like maintaining a set speed (i.e., cruise control) or park. ADAS systems are powered by advanced artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies. Much of this technology is poised to translate into autonomous vehicles.

While popular in passenger vehicles, the commercial vehicle industry increasingly integrates ADAS systems into their vehicles as well. In this article, we will focus on off road vehicles in particular, but many of these ideas also apply to trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles.

How Off Road ADAS Differs from Commercial & Passenger Vehicle ADAS

ADAS-enable passenger vehicles rely on visual data like lane markings, street signs, and traffic signals to navigate. On a construction site or agricultural field, these signals don’t exist, so an off road vehicle needs different methods of tracking its relative position. Instead, LiDAR, RADAR, or Advanced View Monitoring (AVM) can provide data about surrounding obstacles and conditions.

Applications in off road environments are much more developed, with relevant sensors that can be customized according to customer’s needs.  Monocular cameras can work in collaboration with other products, such as a millimeter wave RADAR to help subside the high cost of LiDAR. The agricultural machinery industry has benefited substantially from this technology.

The working environment of construction machinery is rather complex. An off road vehicle must know not only what is around it, but the position of each of its parts, like buckets and forklifts. Some kinds of vehicles can move in many directions or on different planes. The system must monitor every part and its position.

In order to reduce unnecessary safety accidents, cameras around the perimeter and radar in the cabin of the vehicle are installed that then give the passenger real time imagery of the surrounding area and audible alarm signals to warn of potential hazards. The same system of integrated camera and radar is used in many of the world’s leading construction machinery companies

In some cases, magnetic field information can provide information, however in construction, the presence of metals can distort the local magnetic field. 

ADAS technology has to meet safety standard IEC61508, the functional safety standard for electrical and electronic (E/E) systems. Automotive electronic systems are also subject to ISO 26262, as with a passenger vehicle. However, they also must account for IEC 62061, which relates to machinery.

Advantages of ADAS Technology

An ADAS-equipped vehicle can exchange data with the cloud, other vehicles, the driver, and/or infrastructure. For a company managing a large fleet of off road vehicles or equipment, the data gathered by ADAS saves money, improves operational efficiency, and improves safety for personnel. Some specific examples include:

  • Improved visibility: On a construction site or farm, dust and dirt can obstruct a driver’s view. RADAR penetrates dirt, allowing a vehicle’s cameras to “see” through it and provide the driver with real-time visibility.
  • Greater precision: An ADAS-enable vehicle can navigate to precise locations within a site and perform functions with an objective POV that eliminates human error. For example, a tractor can use GPS and on-board inertial sensors to plant a seed within 3cm of its intended location.
  • Fleet management: For a company managing a fleet of off road vehicles, a holistic view is important to minimize downtime and use equipment efficiently. ADAS technology enables communication among vehicles and vehicle infrastructure systems for continuous adjustment.
  • Safety: ADAS technology keeps drivers and other personnel on a worksite safer. It can monitor for potential hazards, watch for pedestrians, and even warn  a fatigued or distracted driver with an audible beep.

As ADAS technology evolves, the industry will undoubtedly find more and more problems to solve with it.

Components of ADAS Technology

A combination of components works together to gather information in an ADAS system.

Processors/ECU (Electronic Control Unit)

Radar Poster
Radar Poster

Processors are essentially the computers that analyze the data the vehicle collects. The processors can use the data in various ways like predictive modeling or actually interfering with the operation of the vehicle (such as with automatic emergency braking).

RADAR

RADAR (radio detection and ranging) uses radio waves detecting objects and distances. The range and precision vary according to the quality of the product. It can include the following features:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Automated Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Change Assisted (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

LiDAR

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is another form of detection, but it uses pulses of light rather than radio waves. It can be used for many of the same applications as RADAR. It can send out millions of pulses per second to detect the distance, size, and shape of an object to create a three-dimensional representation. It has more moving parts and, therefore, is typically more expensive than RADAR and may not last as long.

Cameras

Cameras can collect information for a variety of purposes. For example, with a driver monitoring system they might signal when a driver is engaged in prohibited distracting activities like eating or smoking. They can be used for facial recognition to enhance security. Vehicle camera products are as follows:

  • Smart
  • Aerial-View
  • Side-View
  • Forward-View
  • Cockpit

When mounted on a vehicle, a monocular camera can detect objects, lane boundaries, and track objects. It gives the driver the advantage of seeing what is behind them or in their blind spots. A stereo camera uses two monocular cameras to create binocular “vision,” with greater depth perception.

AVM, or around view monitoring, can be used to see what’s going on in multiple directions at once. Rather than “seeing” information directly, it instantly converts recorded video into a view that a typical camera could not capture. It requires a lot of computing power to continuously process the video.

Digital Storage

ADAS relies, in part, on data storage such as a MicroSD card, similar to those found in some smartphones. A vehicle owner might save data in order to monitor fleet efficiency over time or track ROI.

GPS

A vehicle may use 4G or 5G wifi technology to access global positioning systems. In passenger vehicles, GPS is typically used to help a driver find their destination. For commercial off road vehicles, it can let construction companies know where their vehicles are and how much they’re being driven. It can even help prevent theft, since it makes the equipment easy to track down.

Gradually, GPS modules have been integrated into ECUs (electronic control units).

Learn How KUS Can Be Your ADAS Supplier

KUS has a visual radar algorithm, software, hardware, structure and dedicated R&D team based out of Taiwan. In addition, KUS is accredited by CNAS, and recognized by automotive OEMs for vertical integration of production capacity.

KUS has the advanced equipment and R&D capabilities to keep pace with the latest developments in ADAS. We consistently meet our customers’ requirements both in quality and output. Making vehicles compliant to the highest safety levels. To learn about our range of ADAS products and innovations, view our catalog or contact us today.

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