Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Only a small percentage of passenger vehicles on the road today are equipped with ADAS technologies. More research is needed to fully understand how effective these technologies are in saving lives and preventing crashes.

However, the availability of ADAS technologies in new cars is growing rapidly. In 2013, ADAS technologies were available in less than 5% of new passenger vehicles. By 2018, availability in new passenger vehicles varied from 24% for lane keeping assist to 42% for automatic emergency braking. ADAS availability is reported in response to NHTSA’s Annual Technology Adoption Survey as part of the New Car Assessment Program and includes optional equipment.

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To start forecasting the potential impact ADAS technologies may have on traffic safety, a recent NHTSA study identified the crashes occurring today that could be prevented or mitigated if all vehicles where equipped with ADAS technologies. The estimates provided on this page also assume that the ADAS technologies are fully effective in preventing or mitigating the crashes they are designed to impact.

ADAS can be organized into five broad groups, each representing multiple technologies:

  • Group 1: Forward collision prevention:
    • Forward collision warning
    • Automatic emergency braking
    • Brake assist
  • Group 2: Lane keeping:
    • Lane departure warning
    • Lane keeping assist
    • Lane centering assist
  • Group 3: Blind zone detection
    • Blind spot warning
    • Blind spot intervention
    • Lane change merge
  • Group 4: Forward pedestrian impact avoidance
    • Pedestrian detection
  • Group 5: Backing collision avoidance
    • Reverse automatic braking
    • Back-up warning
    • Rear traffic alert

It is estimated that collectively these five ADAS technology groups could impact 3.59 million total crashes per year, or about 62% of all crashes. Forward collision prevention accounts for 1.7 million crashes, while lane keeping assist impacts another 1.12 million crashes.

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ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 20,841 deaths per year, or about 62% of total traffic deaths. Lane keeping assist accounts for 14,844 of this savings, while pedestrian automatic braking accounts for another 4,106 lives saved.

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ADAS technologies can also potentially prevent or mitigate 1.69 million injuries (about 60% of total traffic injuries). The majority of the injury reduction is achieved by forward collision prevention and lane keeping assist.

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ADAS technologies are also estimated to prevent or mitigate damage to 4.60 million vehicles. This estimate is limited to crashes with only property damage and does not include potential damage reduction during more severe crashes. The majority of damage reduction is achieved through forward collision prevention (about 57%).

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Source: Wang, J.-S. (2019, March). Target crash population for crash avoidance technologies in passenger vehicles (Report No. DOT HS 812 653). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.