What Is Driver Assistance?

Driver assistance is technology that is used to make motor vehicle travel safer through the automation, improvement and adaptation of some or all tasks involved in operating a vehicle. The purpose of driver assistance is to make travel comfortable and easier while simultaneously increasing car and road safety.

In some cases, driver assistance systems will help with the task of driving while, in others, the system will alert the driver of errors or hazards like lane departure detection. Driver assistance does not only involve vehicle control but also secondary driving tasks like location finding, planning routes and detecting obstacles.

There are both simple and complex systems involved in driver assistance. Simple tasks include anti-lock braking and complex systems include the fully autonomous hardware and software operating a driver-less car. The more complex systems will use technologies like machine vision, artificial intelligence, radar lasers and other position-detecting technologies.

Examples of driver assistance systems are:

  • Detection of drowsiness
  • Detection of lane departure
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Global Positioning System or GPS
  • Accident prevention systems
  • Automatic braking
  • Blind spot detection
  • Assistance for descents
  • Intelligent speed control
  • Adaptive light control
  • Night vision

Driver assistance is still a developing field, especially advanced driver assistance. There are still technical and ethical questions to be answered. Technical concerns are easy to address with technologies like machine learning and AI, but ethical issues are quite difficult to resolve. One of the hard questions to answer with driver assistance is the occupant versus pedestrian safety.

There are ongoing collaborations in research, investigations and discussions into these moral issues. Hopefully, gathering human perspectives will guide the moral decisions made by artificial intelligence.