Volvo and Mercedes-Benz drive roll-out of ADAS as standard equipment in cars


Driver Monitoring Systems were first introduced as far back as 2006 when Toyota launched its innovative Driver Attention Monitor system. Toyota’s system functions by directly monitoring the driver’s face using a discrete in-dash camera and was initially offered as an option in the company’s luxury Lexus models. Other OEMs soon followed suit and announced their own DMS systems which were typically based on monitoring the vehicle rather than the driver’s face.

DMS systems such as Mercedes-Benz’s “Attention Assist” and Volvo and Volkswagen’s “Driver Alert” systems were the first ADAS systems to be offered as standard equipment by OEMs, albeit only in a small selection of models.

Today an increasing number of ADAS systems are slowly becoming standard equipment in new cars, particularly in some European and Japanese brands such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan Infiniti, Lexus and Mazda, and many more are being offered as options.

Volvo fits its City Safety system as standard in the majority of its vehicles. City Safety provides AEB City, AEB Interurban as well as pedestrian detection.

Mercedes-Benz fits its Distronic Plus FAP2, which has AEB City and AEB Interurban, as standard in a few of its CL-Class models. It offers its Collision Prevention Assist system (AEB Interurban) as standard in all models in its A-Class (2012+), B-Class, CLA-Class, E-Class and S-Class vehicles. The same system is also standard on most GL-Class and M-Class vehicles. The Distronic systems (Solo, FAP2 and FAP3) which offer AEB Urban, AEB Interurban and Pedestrian Detection are offered as options on other models.

Nissan Infiniti offers its Forward Collision Warning and Intelligent Brake Assist (AEB Interurban) as standard equipment on several of its EX, FX, G37 and M models. Lexus offers its Pre-Crash Systems (AEB Interurban) as standard on a small number of its GS, IS and RX models and several of its LS models. Mazda offers its Smart City Braking Systems (AEB City) on several of its 2013 3 and 6 models and on its CX-5 model.

Surprisingly, several of the big OEMs such as Ford and GM’s Opel/Vauxhall, do not offer any ADAS system as standard in hardly any of their vehicles. This is also the case with some of the German luxury brands such as Audi and BMW who are at the forefront of developing ADAS systems, although they are offered extensively as options across all of their models. Even Rolls Royce buyers will also have to splash out a bit more cash to get the Rolls Driver Assistant System on the Rolls Royce Ghost.

Volkswagen offers its City Emergency Braking as standard equipment on one model in its budget Up! car. On most of its model range, ADAS systems are not even offered as options. And apart from its Lexus brand, Toyota – one of the biggest car OEMs in the world – only offers its Pre-Crash System on one or two variants of specific models such as the Prius.

Although some of the big US brands offer ADAS features as options in their European models, they typically do not offer the same features in their US models, although this is beginning to change. Ford is a good example of this with its Ford Focus model.

Another very observable trend in 2013 is that ADAS features are gradually migrating from the luxury brands into B, C and even A segment cars. Typically, the focus here is on offering ADAS systems, mostly as options, designed specifically for low-speed urban driving.

Prices are decreasing too. For example, Ford UK offers its Active City Stop for £200 ($320) on the Ford Focus or in a package which includes lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver alert and blind spot monitoring for £550 ($880). Meanwhile, Volkswagen offers its City Emergency Braking System for £225-£405 ($360-$648), depending on model, on its budget A-segment Up! car. This uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of an imminent collision and is active at speeds under 30 km/hour (18 mph).