In late 2021, Dan Loop, Vice President and General Manager of Automotive Edge Processing at NXP Semiconductors, wrote an article in All About Circuits titled, Understand ADAS limitations and V2X communication technology.
He claims that ADAS generally increases road safety for the driver. However, he finds that they are mostly isolated from their surroundings. This is largely because they do not communicate with other vehicles, roadways, or other types of smart city infrastructure. He adds: “Overall, the main limitations of driver assistance systems are cost and limited availability beyond high-end models. ADAS is expensive, and so entry-level vehicles don’t tend to have it for insurance because automakers have an eye on competitiveness. Still, there is a need for ADAS to proliferate because ADAS and V2X communication work better when there are more participants. The challenge for OEMs is therefore to develop and offer more cost-effective ADAS at the lower end of the market “to increase the safety and comfort of all road users”.
In response to some questions from TU-Automotive about the limitations of ADAS, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications, Loop said: “Today, V2X systems have limited interactions with ADAS systems. . ADAS relies on vision and radar/lidar and ultrasound to determine obstacles and plan trajectories, while V2X relies on messages sent by other entities, including vehicles or infrastructure. This means that the V2X system is essentially limited by a network effect that relies on the adoption of technology to reach critical mass in order to become useful. ADAS is limited by the cost of implementing the technologies in vehicles.
Matthew Avery, Director of Research Strategy at Thatcham Research, however, comments that his organization has been very impressed with the adoption of ADAS over the past decade. “We got to the point where it was a premium option, but now it’s becoming standard, even on mass-market vehicles like Fiestas and Clios.” He explains that this change is driven by Euro NCAP’s five-star requirements: “While the installation of ADAS on cars and vans will be mandated by European General Safety Rules 2. The benefits of ADAS in terms of Avoiding accidents and protecting vulnerable road users are clear, but ADAS is not without its limitations.
These weaknesses include the fact that radars can often struggle to identify objects. “If there’s too much reflectivity, there’s no recognizable radar return and the system can’t identify what it is,” he reveals. So, for example, if a car is hidden behind a metal pillar, or if a wheelie bin obscures a parked car, the system will have difficulty “seeing” that vehicle.
He adds: “Cameras also have limitations; they can be susceptible to “atmospheric distortion”, in other words, if the driver cannot see clearly, nor can the system. This problem is often caused by bad weather such as fog, snow, mist or heavy rain. Automakers, he says, have found ways around this problem by using sensors. Thus, the camera has identified the object, the radar determines where this object is in order to calculate the trajectory of the vehicle to avoid it.
Avery also points out that: “New sensors are being introduced for automated driving, such as Lidar sensors which are quite expensive, but very accurate in terms of near-field discrimination. Up close, they can accurately tell where objects are.
Resolution of limitations
So, how concerning are limitations and what is being done to address them? Loop comments: “Legislation in several regions is driving V2X adoption. For ADAS, cost pressures and innovation are driving down system costs and some OEMs are focusing on using specific technologies only for their ADAS platforms. With automation you will need all three sensors and even then this combination of sensors can still struggle in conditions affected by snow or fog, especially when it comes to identifying the white lines.
To read the full article, visit TU-Automotive.