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Mar 2 2021

* This article was a collaboration with our partners Joseph Creese and Howard Abbey at SBD Automotive.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology is confusing for consumers and businesses alike. While there are core ADAS features that can function similarly across each OEM, such as forward collision warning, lane keeping, or blind spot monitoring, each OEM offers their unique spin on the different technologies and markets them differently with their own branded names.

Below are some common challenges that ADAS presents, along with solutions to address these challenges.

1. Determining which vehicles have certain features

ADAS features are not always standard equipment on vehicles and are often only available on certain trims or packages. As more and more OEMs integrate comprehensive ADAS features into their offerings, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of who is offering what and how they are offering it. To visualize this growing adoption, our partners at SBD Automotive have analyzed the availability of some key ADAS features across the industry over an 8-year period. The results can be seen below.

The above chart shows how significant this growth in adoption is across many trim levels for ADAS features. We’re quickly seeing consumers expecting certain features, such as forward collision warning, to be offered as standard on all trims. When going one level deeper into this analysis, we see similar trends for ADAS sub features, with pedestrian and cyclist detection also trending in similar ways, even though these systems often rely on more advanced sensors and logic.

Unfortunately, for auto manufacturers, these increasing consumer expectations, combined with the increasing cost of more complex sensors and algorithms, form a unique challenge.

Who does this affect?

Insurance is one of the most talked about segments in the auto industry regarding this issue, including in this Reuters article. In order for insurance carriers and their service providers to right-price policies quickly and accurately, as well as manage their claims process with a better understanding of repair costs and the value of each vehicle, they need to be able to better identify which ADAS features are present on each vehicle.

Dealers, OEMs, repair shops, and aftermarket parts retailers also need to identify ADAS features in order to competitively price their inventory, better understand the competition, properly recalibrate sensors, and offer the correct replacement parts.

The solution

A comprehensive vehicle database is a great place to start. Understanding the competitive landscape for OEMs as well as specific ADAS adoption information for insurers and repair stores can allow these stakeholders to respond more proactively and gain numerous efficiencies. While it could still be a challenge to determine which optional ADAS equipment is present, many of these features are becoming standard on certain trims, which can often be identified through VIN lookup services.

2. Deciphering each manufacturer’s unique ADAS marketing lingo

What’s the difference between Honda’s Road Departure Mitigation System, Volvo’s Lane Keeping Aid, and Subaru’s Lane Keep Assist and Sway Warning? While all three have different names, each of them is a form of lane keeping technology. This is just one example of how OEMs brand their technology. According to Howard Abbey from SBD Automotive, “163 different brand names are used to describe 16 ADAS features. Marketing departments are focused on selling their own unique new aspect of ADAS features, but this hinders customers still struggling to understand the basics of the functions.”

Who does this affect?

The marketing terminology used by OEMs causes a great deal of confusion not only for consumers, as Abbey mentioned, but also businesses selling, insuring, and repairing vehicles with these features.

It’s important that research websites, portals, and dealerships can consume all of this information and display it to their end users in a meaningful way. Additionally, dealership sales staff should have access to training materials for both their on-brand and off-brand inventory. As for insurance, not only do they need to know which ADAS features are equipped on the vehicle they are insuring, but also how they function, to accurately assess the risk. As you can see, OEM marketing can make that challenging for the insurer.

The solution

Leveraging a comprehensive vehicle database that not only captures ADAS equipment but also normalizes this data, assigning a generic name in addition to the OEM marketing name.

Additionally, a database that includes the ADAS system functionality (i.e. differing radar frequencies and how driver alerts are transmitted) can help companies train and educate stakeholders. This information will be valuable for both consumer-facing products as well as a resource for internal use cases (i.e. training and underwriting).

DataOne and SBD have teamed up as data partners to create this depth and breadth of data with our tool, VehiclePlannerPlus.

3. Understanding drivers’ behavior with ADAS

Identifying which ADAS features are installed on a vehicle and deciphering their unique OEM marketing names and nuances in functionality are both challenges that can be solved with the right vehicle data solutions. However, understanding how drivers react to these ADAS features is a whole different challenge and is quite unpredictable.

SBD research shows that drivers’ relationships with ADAS tend to fall into these three main categories:

      • Irritation at alerts felt to be worthless
      • More risky behavior due to overreliance on the technology
      • Comfort and appreciation as the driver and system work as a team

Who does this affect?

Insurance and fleet are most affected when it comes to the unpredictability of the drivers they are insuring or employing in their fleet and it can be challenging to understand the risk of drivers over time. Is ADAS helping drivers avoid accidents or are they too reliant on it? Perhaps the driver is unaware of the ADAS features' limitations, for example passive (warnings, not corrective) vs. active (semi-autonomous)? Here’s an interesting article by AAA on the subject. Are drivers disengaging the features out of annoyance and getting into accidents that could have been avoided had they been engaged? It’s difficult as an insurer and fleet manager to accurately determine the risk of your drivers with this many variables.

The Solution

Unfortunately, there isn’t a silver bullet solution for understanding driver behavior, however, there are several consumer data sources that can be leveraged to gain a better understanding of which ADAS features are most effective, such as this infographic. Additionally, companies such as CCC Information Services, Explore (a Solera Company), LexisNexis, and Verisk offer powerful driver data solutions to make underwriting more efficient, as well as refine risk rating over time. Most importantly, with more information and training provided to consumers and professional drivers, we can expect to see less human error in the equation. Further study is also needed here to understand how the different UX elements of ADAS can impact the three factors mentioned above.

ADAS is complicated and requires comprehensive data to best represent these features and educate both consumers and businesses on their availability and functionality. As a business assessing risk, it’s paramount that you have access to both an accurate vehicle data solution and consumer data sources.

Both DataOne and SBD would be excited to discuss how our vehicle data assets can improve the identification of these ADAS features while delivering this data in an easily consumable format.

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Check out the next article in the series - 5 Trends Shaping the Future of ADAS

ADAS article series index


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