ADAS: Protecting passengers, drivers and road users
23 SEPTEMBER 2021
Among the many impressive features of Scania’s new bus generation, the Advanced Driver Assistance System stands out -- as a tool for enabling safe, reassuring and cost-effective bus and coach transport.
In today’s traffic, driving a city bus, intercity coach or tourist coach is not easy. You’re constantly looking out for other - sometimes less careful - road users. Meanwhile, you’re trying to stick to your timetable and ensure your precious cargo of passengers gets from A to B safely and comfortably.
Scania’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) helps drivers cope with these demands. It’s an electronic system of software, sensors and cameras, addressing interactions with vulnerable road users, traffic blind spots and maintaining vehicle distance in heavy traffic.
“These days, traffic volume has hugely increased, with so many different vehicles on the road, meaning more potential risks for drivers. Drivers also have to concentrate on ticketing and passenger care. Of course they still need to pay attention to the road at all times, but ADAS is a very smart system that will give drivers significant help,” explains Angela Quilisch, Product Manager at Product Management of Buses & Coaches, who’s been responsible for product training with a focus on the safety aspects of the new bus generation.
“Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control is good for all types of buses and coaches,” adds Quilisch.
“And for city bus drivers, the standstill function avoids the need for sudden braking, while the time gap function ensures a comfortable ride on the roads for passenger and driver.”
Another key feature is the Vulnerable Road User Collision Warning system. It’s available on right and left-hand drive buses and coaches, and activates between 0 and 36 km/h. It’s particularly useful regarding cyclists and pedestrians near the bus. It’ll become mandatory in Europe for new vehicle types from 2022, and for existing vehicle types from 2024.
“Buses often drive in and out of bus stops when picking up passengers. With so many road users nowadays, some perhaps less careful than others, there’s a risk of accidents, so this function is a real help,” explains Quilisch.
The Blind Spot Warning function works at travelling speed, using a sensor on the side of the vehicle to detect and warn the driver if another vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot in an adjacent lane.
“It keeps the driver and other road users safe,” says Quilisch.
Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Collision Prevention and even driver drowsiness & inattention alerts are also in development, the first two due in 2022, subject to the introduction of a relevant safety requirement that allows their inclusion.
Safety and comfort, but cost saving too
The ADAS package is an additional cost, but it’s a must for bus and coach operators due to its cost-saving potential.
The sheer amount of driving buses and coaches do and so much traffic on the roads makes accidents almost inevitable. One calculation says the average cost of a bus or coach accident can be more than €8,000: the cost of the downtime in the immediate aftermath of an accident; a repair costing several thousand Euros; and the cost of driver sick leave for a couple of weeks. And it all reduces vehicle uptime.
But ADAS can help avoid these common types of accidents and keep sought-after drivers happy. Early reactions from companies using the system have been unanimously positive.
Says Angela Quilisch: “ADAS can make the driver happy. If the driver’s happy and secure in their job, then passengers are secure, comfortable and happy. And above all, road users are safer.”
Key features of Scania’s ADAS system:
Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control
Helps the driver maintain a constant time gap in traffic, at speeds down to 0 km/h. In a traffic jam, the vehicle automatically comes to a standstill.
Vulnerable Road User Collision Warning
A radar sensor and camera detects and warns the driver on vulnerable road users moving at low speed near the vehicle, such as cyclists or even pedestrians. There’s a three-stage warning system. If the vehicle is close to a vulnerable road user, an amber light on the A-pillar passenger side comes on. The second stage sees the amber light begin flashing and the driver’s seat starts vibrating. Should the road user get even closer, the light turns red and the driver seat vibration increases.
Blind Spot Warning
Uses a sensor on the side of the vehicle to detect and warn the driver if another vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot in an adjacent lane.
At Scania, we approach the challenge from several angles, offering a wide range of efficient, high quality products and services to meet the varying needs of travel operators.