Understanding ADAS: Automatic Crash Notification Systems

Understanding ADAS: Automatic Crash Notification Systems

Imagine the moments following a car crash, where you and your passengers may be injured or unable to call for help. In this unfortunate situation, the use of an Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) system can be a lifesaver. These systems are designed to automatically detect when a crash occurs and send an alert to emergency responders, providing them with information about the location and severity of the accident. This technology is part of the larger umbrella of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which aims to improve safety on the roads. Below, we’ll explain how Automatic Crash Notification Systems work and why they are an important feature in modern cars.

What is an Automatic Crash Notification System?

An Automatic Crash Notification System, also known as an Emergency Call System or Automatic Collision Notification, is a safety feature installed in vehicles that automatically alerts emergency services when a crash occurs. These systems use various sensors and algorithms to detect the impact of a collision and send a signal to an emergency response center. This signal includes important information such as the vehicle’s location, travel direction, and crash severity. In some cases, these systems can also detect if airbags have been deployed or if occupants are injured.

How Do ACN Systems Work?

Automatic Crash Notification Systems use a combination of sensors and communication technologies to detect and report crashes. These systems typically consist of calibrated sensors, a Sensing Diagnostic Module, a Vehicle Communication and Interface Module, and an antenna. The sensors are strategically placed to measure various parameters such as acceleration, deceleration, and impact force. These sensors work together to monitor the vehicle’s movements and relay this information to the Sensing Diagnostic Module.

The Sensing Diagnostic Module then uses complex algorithms to analyze the data and determine if a crash has occurred. If a crash is detected, the Vehicle Communication and Interface Module receives a signal from the Sensing Diagnostic Module and establishes a connection with a call center. The call center operator receives the signal and tries to communicate with the vehicle’s occupants through the built-in speaker and microphone. If the occupants in the car cannot respond, the call center operator will contact emergency services.

ACN systems use GPS technology to accurately determine the vehicle’s location and transmit it to the call center. This allows emergency services to locate the vehicle quickly in case of a crash.

The Role of ACN Systems in Emergency Response

The main purpose of Automatic Crash Notification Systems is to reduce the response time of emergency services in case of a crash. By automatically detecting and reporting crashes, ACN systems eliminate the need for someone at the scene to call for help. This can save precious minutes that can make a difference in saving lives.

Immediate Notification and Response Coordination

In the event of a crash, ACN systems work to quickly notify emergency services. This allows them to dispatch the appropriate responders, such as police, fire department, and ambulance services, to the scene without delay. The call center operator also stays on the line with the vehicle occupants until emergency services arrive, providing reassurance and assistance. This coordination of response can greatly improve the chances of survival for those involved in a crash.

A study by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that ACN systems have the potential to reduce crash fatalities by 1.5% to 15% per year, which could save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives annually.

With accurate location information provided by GPS technology, responders can reach the scene faster and more efficiently. They can also better prepare for what they may find at the scene, such as the number of people involved, types of injuries, and potential hazards.

Data Collection and Analysis for First Responders

In addition to providing immediate notification and response coordination, ACN systems also collect valuable crash data that can be used by first responders for analysis. This information includes the time and location of the crash, severity of impact, and vehicle type.

By knowing how severe a crash is before they reach the scene, first responders can better prepare for the necessary resources and equipment. This could save time and improve the overall effectiveness of their response.

In the event of a severe injury to a driver or passenger, first responders can be equipped with specialized equipment and trained personnel to provide immediate medical attention. Since the patient’s condition is known, emergency services can plan for direct transfer to a specialized care facility rather than a local hospital. This can improve the chances of survival and recovery for the injured individual.

The collection of data from ACN systems can also be used to identify patterns and trends in crash occurrences. Transportation agencies can then use this information to implement safety measures and improve road design in high-risk areas.

Integration in Modern Vehicles: A Look at Manufacturers

In recent years, many automobile manufacturers have started integrating ACN technology into their vehicles. This helps the driver, passengers, first responders, and emergency services.

One example is General Motors’ OnStar system, which automatically notifies emergency services in the event of a crash and provides them with critical information such as vehicle location and severity of impact. GM currently offers an 8-year free trial period for their OnStar ACN system, and all Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles will have this functionality starting in 2025.

As of 2024, here are the car brands that offer a free ACN system in their newer models:

  • Acura – AcuraLink Assist
  • Audi – Connect CARE
  • BMW – ConnectedDrive
  • Ford/Lincoln – 911 Assist
  • Genesis – Connected Services
  • Honda – HondaLink Assist
  • Hyundai – Bluelink+
  • Jaguar/Land Rover – InControl Protect SOS Emergency Services
  • Mazda – Automatic 911 Dialing
  • Polestar – Connect
  • Porsche – Connect Care
  • Tesla – Vehicle Update
  • Volvo – OnCall

Here are some brands that offer ACN systems with a free trial period:

  • OnStar (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC): The OnStar One Essentials plan offers an 8-year free trial.
  • Jeep Connect: This service provides a 10-year free trial.
  • Kia UVO/Kia Connect: Comes with a 5-year free trial, then $5.99 a month or $59 a year for the Care subscription tier.
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect: Includes a 10-year free trial for most models, then $8 a month or $80 a year.
  • Mercedes Me Connect: Offers a 10-year free trial for automatic crash notification and SOS button.
  • Ram Connect: Provides a 10-year free trial, then $14.99 monthly.
  • Toyota Safety Connect: Includes a 10-year free trial with stolen vehicle locator and roadside assistance on select models.
  • Volkswagen Car-Net: Offers a 5-year free trial, then $159 yearly, including vehicle status and roadside assistance.

Other brands offer ACN systems with a monthly or yearly subscription fee. For a full breakdown of different car manufacturers and their offerings, check out this article from Consumer Reports.

Start Your Own ADAS Sensor Calibration Center with Car ADAS

Automatic Crash Notification Systems are becoming increasingly prevalent in modern vehicles, and many manufacturers offer them as a standard feature. These systems are just one aspect of the larger trend towards Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that car manufacturers are incorporating into their vehicles. With the increasing demand for ADAS systems and their integration into modern vehicles, there is also a growing need for reliable calibration centers. Our ADAS calibration center solution is designed to help you start your own business. From training to equipment and support, we provide everything you need to set up and run a successful ADAS calibration center. Contact us today to learn more.

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