A coalition of experts in automobiles and auto safety — AAA, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, National Safety Council, PAVE, and SAE International — released a set of expanded and updated recommendations for universal terms for advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features.
The six overarching categories on the list are collision warning, collision intervention, driving control assistance, parking assistance, driver monitoring, and other driver assistance systems. Driver monitoring is the newest category, added this year.
ADAS features have become increasingly prevalent in new vehicles, and have the potential to reduce traffic crashes and save thousands of lives each year. However, the terminology used by automakers to describe ADAS features varies widely, which can confuse consumers and make it difficult to understand the vehicle's functions.
Further, when the capabilities of vehicle safety features are overstated or misrepresented with marketing language designed to reel in buyers, consumers may over-rely on these systems. Establishing common language for ADAS helps ensure drivers are fully aware these systems assist, not replace, an engaged driver.
The coalition is calling on automakers, regulators, safety organizations, journalists, and other stakeholders to adopt this recommended standard language in the near term to reduce driver confusion. The group is also asking for vital consumer education on the benefits, limitations, and capabilities of ADAS.
The “Clearing the Confusion” effort started in 2019 with an initial list of standardized names and was endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2020. The coalition's recommended terms are simple, specific, and based on system functionality. It is updated as more systems are introduced and the coalition continues to work with stakeholders and policymakers. These terms are not intended to replace an automaker's proprietary system or package names. Instead, they will help consumers access transparent and consistent information on window stickers, owner's manuals, and other marketing materials for generic system functions.