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Only a tenth of global vehicles adopt ADAS

Huge opportunity knocks in the realm of advanced in-vehicle software as surprisingly low number of global cars make use of ADAS features

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have long been considered fundamental in the evolution of in-vehicle technology, but research from analyst Canalys has revealed such features has been installed in just 10% of the one billion cars in use worldwide at the end of 2020. 

ADAS features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot alert.

Using sensors and cameras, the features can actively keep a vehicle a set distance from another vehicle in front, keep a vehicle centred in its lane, bring a vehicle to a complete stop in an emergency, identify other vehicles or pedestrians approaching and more.

Moreover, such features are increasingly available as standard or as an option in new mainstream cars and even entry-level models.

As an example, Canalys cited research from shows that the lane-keep assist feature, which when activated provides steering assistance to keep a vehicle in its lane, was installed in 56% of new cars sold in Europe in the first half of 2021, 52% in Japan, 30% in Mainland China and 63% in the US.

Yet even though cars are indeed now selling with ADAS features in major markets such as Mainland China, Europe, Japan and the US, the analyst predicts that it will be several years before they are installed in half of all cars on the world’s roads.

Assessing the state of penetration of the technology, Canalys was actually bullish about the current low take up.

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It observed that assuming the total number of cars in use remained at around the one billion mark this decade, this represented what it called “an incredible” long-term opportunity for carmakers and particularly their ADAS technology suppliers and partners.

“The inclusion of ADAS features in new cars will have a positive effect on road safety, reducing the number of accidents and thus fatalities, as most accidents are caused by driver distraction or error. ADAS features work actively to keep drivers, passengers and other road users safe,” said Chris Jones, chief analyst for automotive at Canalys.

“But while the penetration of these driver assistance features in new cars is growing at a good rate, given that the average age of cars in use is over 12 years old, and fewer than 75 million cars will be sold in 2021, it will take many years before even half of the one billion cars in use globally have the features.”

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