ADAS Glossary: ADAS Terms & Definitions You Need to Know

New US passenger vehicles contain at least one advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) — AEB, short for automatic emergency braking. And that’s just the beginning of the ADAS industry jargon. This ADAS glossary compiles more than 50 of the most common ADAS terms you are likely to hear when shopping for a new ADAS-equipped car or just figuring out which ADAS systems your vehicle includes, and how they work. 

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360-Degree Camera

A system that uses cameras to provide a 360-degree view of your car’s surroundings. Displayed on your media console. 

A

Active Driving Assistance

Systems that include automated speed/braking and steering, such as when lane tracing assistance and adaptive cruise control are used together. Active driving assistance is classified as Level 2 driving automation, from a scale of 0 to 5, with Level 5 being fully autonomous. Level 2 is the closest to autonomous available to the U.S. public.

Active Parking Assistance

Calculates the best angle to get into a parking spot and controls the car’s torque, braking, and steering to maneuver into the spot.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

A driver assistance system that allows drivers to set both a preferred speed and following distance. It automatically slows down based on the car ahead of you and speeds up when the highway is clear. Meant for highway driving. Variations include traffic jam/stop and go assist. Speed ranges vary. Also called intelligent cruise control.

Adaptive Headlights

Headlights that pivot based on steering wheel movement and vehicle speed to improve visibility on dark, curved roads, as well as when ascending and descending hills. Also referred to as adaptive front lighting.

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems)

Vehicle safety features that use sensors and cameras to provide support to the driver to minimize collisions and other unsafe situations. ADAS automate safety actions, provide warnings, and can temporarily control over a vehicle’s steering, braking, or acceleration to minimize or avoid safety risks.

ADAS Calibration

The calibration/alignment of ADAS sensors (Lidar, Radar, cameras, sonar, etc) that provide data to your vehicle and inform ADAS systems.

ADAS Calibration Kit

The equipment required to calibrate a vehicle’s ADAS systems. Includes alignment equipment, diagnostic software, camera targets, radar reflectors, tire inflation/verification tools, radar adjusting tools, multi-plane lasers, and digital angle gauges.

ADAS Recalibration

After collisions (and many repair services), a vehicle will need to have a recalibration performed, to ensure sensors are accurately informing ADAS systems when and where to act.

ADAS Tablet

A mobile tablet scanning tool with software that accesses and communicates with a car.

Anti-Lock Braking System

One of the very first common ADAS systems, anti-lock brakes stop the wheels from locking up during emergency stopping. Detects differences in wheel speed and rapidly pulses brakes until wheel speed is equalized. Improves traction and steering control during emergency stops.

Assisted Parking

Uses parking sensors to alert drivers when an obstruction is nearing. Alerts can be audible, visual, or tactile. 

Automatic Crash Notification (ACN)

Sends a signal when a crash has been detected.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

Detects slowed or stopped traffic ahead and brakes automatically when a collision is imminent. Often combined with Forward Collision Warning to provide driver alerts about collision risks and then apply the brakes.

Automatic Emergency Steering

An ADAS that automatically applies steering torque to avoid or mitigate a collision. Also called evasive steering assist.

Automatic High Beams

Automatically changes from high beams to low beams due to traffic and light.

Automatic Parallel Parking

An ADAS that uses sensors to calculate the best way to parallel park and then automatically parks the car in the spot, controlling the steering and braking, and even gear shifting. 

B

Back Up Warning

When in reverse, uses sensors to detect objects that are too near and warns the driver with an audible and/or tactile alert.

Backup Camera

A camera attached to the rear of a vehicle to help a driver back up safely. Footage is displayed to the driver on a console screen. Often shows on-screen highlights for how to park.

Bicycle Detection

Detects bicyclists and alerts drivers to their presence.

Blind Spot Intervention (BSI)

Also called blind spot assist, this system detects if there is a vehicle in your blind spot (approaching from a rear adjacent lane) and you begin to move toward it. BSI applies the brakes and helps you re-center in your lane. 

Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)

Senses when a car is in your blind spot and shows this on mirrors or the driver’s console screen. Also called side assist.

Blind Spot Warning (BSW)

Detects and warns the driver of vehicles in blind spot. Warnings can be audible, visual, and/or tactile. 

Brake Assist

During emergency stopping, this system adds additional braking power to brake harder, so the full braking power is applied faster. Doesn’t automatically come to a complete stop, like automatic emergency braking (AEB).

C

Calibration Bay

Dedicated space, complying with OE requirements: size, level floor, controlled lighting, zero distractions/reflective surfaces, color, matte finish.

Camera Calibration

One of the types of components which can be calibrated.

Camera Sensors

Many ADAS use camera-based sensors positioned on the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle, capturing and analyzing images of its surroundings, including street signs, roads, parking lots, pedestrians, and other vehicles. The vehicle analyzes data from these sensors to provide driver alerts.

 

Collision Avoidance System (CAS)

An ADAS system that is designed to prevent and lessen the severity of collisions. Includes automatic emergency braking (AEB).

Curve Speed Warning

Provides a warning when approaching an exit or curve too quickly. Uses GPS and your car’s speed information.

D

Driver Monitoring

Monitors the driver and alerts when they are not actively engaged in driving.

Dynamic ADAS Calibration

ADAS calibration that can take place when a car is moving.

E

Electronic Stability Control

Stabilizes the car to help drivers keep control going around curves and when steering in an emergency situation. Reduces skidding and the chance of a driver losing control of the vehicle.

F

Forward Collision Avoidance

Forward Collision Avoidance combines the functions of two ADAS systems: forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB). If your vehicle’s sensors detect a forward collision risk, FCW is engaged to provide a warning. If driver’s don’t react fast enough, AEB is enabled, providing automatic braking. Sometimes referred to as pre-collision assist. 

Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

Watches for and identifies potential collision risks with a forward vehicle and gives an alert to the driver. Warnings can be audible, visual, or tactile.

H

Heads Up Display

To aid the driver, important alerts are given via a projection in the driver’s line of sight on the windshield. 

Highway Driving Assist

This Level 2 system combines several ADAS systems aimed at safe highway driving including adaptive cruise control, lane centering, as well as GPS and navigation system data.

Hill Descent Assist

Automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed when going down a hill, either by applying the brakes or shifting to a lower gear. Helps maintain a steady speed upon descent.

Hill Start Assist

From a stopped position on an incline, this system keeps braking instead of rolling backward to help the vehicle start smoothly on a hill.

L

Lane Centering

Proactively maintains the vehicle centered in a lane by scanning lane markings. 

Lane Change Assist

At highway speeds, rear radar sensors look for vehicles approaching from behind, in the adjacent lane. When the turning indicator is switched on, it looks for rapidly approaching vehicles in the next lane and provides warnings via lights in the side mirrors and an audible alert. 

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Warns drivers they are about to cross out of their lane without the turning indicator on.

Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)

Assists the driver with steering and/or braking support to prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane. Also called lane keep assist

Lidar Sensors

Sensors that use pulsing laser to detect surroundings. Used in some forms of forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.

M

Moving Object Detection

Typically during low-speed maneuvers, cameras sense when a moving object is near the vehicle. 

N

Night View Assist

Thermal or infrared technology provides a driver with visuals to enhance night driving visibility.

Night Vision

To improve nighttime visibility, enhanced images are projected on the head-up display or other console screens. 

O

Obstruction Warning

While parking, detects obstructions near the vehicle when they get too close and notifies the driver. 

P

Parking Assist

Takes control over the vehicle’s steering, acceleration, brakes and gear positions to maneuver the car (with the driver at the wheel) into a parking spot. Variations include parallel and perpendicular parking. 

Parking Collision Warning

During vehicle parking, this system detects close objects and notifies the driver.

Parking Sensors

Short-range ultrasonic, or sonar sensors located in the bumper of your vehicle to help avoid scratches, dents, and dings that often happen during parking maneuvers and other low-speed maneuvers around other vehicles and other obstructions. 

Pedestrian Detection

In a certain speed range (about 25 mph), this system detects if there is a pedestrian (making human movements) in the vehicle’s path. Some variations include automatic emergency braking (AEB).

Pre-Collision Assist

A combination of forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB). When a forward collision risk is detected, a FCW is provided, but f you don’t respond quickly enough to the warning, AEB engages. Also referred to as forward collision avoidance. 

R

Radar Sensors

Use high frequency waves to detect objects and calculate the direction and velocity of obstacles. Less detailed than camera sensors. Uses long, medium, and short range sensors. Radar is used to inform blind spot detection, rear collision warning, and monitor front and rear cross traffic. 

Rear Collision Detection and Preparation

If rear radar sensors detect an impending rear-end collision, pre-crash measures are taken, such as adjusting seats and seat belts. This is meant to mitigate the injuries from the rear collision. 

Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

In reverse, this system detects vehicles approaching from each side of the vehicle, while backing up. Pedestrians and other objects are only detected on some systems. Also called rear cross path detection.

Remote Parking Assistance

Safely parks a car without the driver needing to be in the front seat, for times when there isn’t enough room to open the door all the way. Though it uses steering, braking, gear changing, and more, the driver still must supervise. 

Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking (Reverse AEB)

In reverse, identifies collision risks and automatically brakes to avoid them. Also called rear automatic emergency braking, or rear AEB.

Road Departure Mitigation

Helps drivers stay on the marked roadway and in their marked lane. Mitigates unintentional drifting. Uses steering torque and/or brake pressure to either keep the car in the marked lane and slow the speed of departure. 

Road Departure Mitigation

Helps drivers stay on the marked roadway and in their marked lane. Mitigates unintentional drifting. Uses steering torque and/or brake pressure to either keep the car in the marked lane and slow the speed of departure. 

S

Safe Exit Assist

When the car has been parked, the automatic door lock will engage if a vehicle is approaching from the rear. 

Semi-Autonomous Driving

A car with capabilities that include steering, braking, and acceleration. Corresponds with a level 2 on the SAE autonomous driving scale.

Side Assist

Watches for and tracks vehicles approaching from the rear of your vehicle. Provides a warning light to warn drivers of a vehicle in their blind spot. 

Side View Camera

When the turning indicator is on, shows an expanded view of the lane beside you to help minimize blind spots.

Sonar Sensors

Sensors that use sound waves to determine the surroundings of the vehicle. Usually placed on the front and rear bumpers to help detect nearby obstructions. These are mostly helpful during slow-speed parking maneuvers and any type of parking assistance. Only useful in short range ADAS features. Also called parking sensors.

Static ADAS Calibration

ADAS calibrations that need to be performed while a vehicle is standing still. Performed in ADAS calibration centers and autobody shops.

Surround View Camera

Shows the close surroundings of some or all sides of the vehicle. Only while stopped and doing low-speed maneuvers. 

T

Traction Control

A system that helps keep traction when driving on slippery surfaces.

Traffic Jam Assist

Combines full range adaptive cruise control with the ability to automatically go again after coming to a complete stop (within a certain number of seconds). If a few seconds pass before traffic begins to move again, the driver will need to indicate that the car can move forward.

Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)

Cameras scan traffic signs, including speed limit, stop signs, and no entry signs to inform the driver of what’s ahead.

Trailer Assistance

 Provides visual guidance for drivers backing up with a trailer attached or assists the driver in backing up the trailer to hitch together. Can either be passive warnings or active assistance.

Turn Assist

When the turning indicator is activated at low speeds when turning left, it detects and monitors opposing traffic using radar, camera, or laser sensors. When a collision risk is initiated, it automatically applies the brakes to keep the vehicle in its lane. Also called left turn crash avoidance.

 

At Car ADAS Solutions, we are protecting lives through the precise calibration of advanced driver assistance systems. In addition to performing ADAS calibrations at our national training facility in Salt Lake City, we also provide ADAS calibration center solutions for existing shops and new businesses.

Interested in owning an ADAS calibration center? 

Read our ADAS Guide for more details on some of the most popular ADAS systems.