Are advanced safety features worth it?
According to US research, the market for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) will increase from $27 billion in 2020 to $83 billion by 2030.
But what exactly are ADAS systems? Many of the features are already familiar to drivers. They include road sign recognition; pedestrian detection; lane departure warning; front and rear collision warning; cross-traffic alert; collision warning; blind spot detection; auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
The question is, do they make things safer? Well, research suggests they do. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the crash involvement rate for vehicles without blind-spot monitoring, for example, was 14% higher than it was for the same models with the monitoring. Overall, it has been suggested that the combination of crash avoidance technologies reduces crash frequency by about 3.5% and that there is the potential for this to increase up to around 25%.
Inevitably, it’s not quite that simple – and the technology is still in development – but for most car manufacturers, having AI safety features is part of their long-term goal.
However, ADAS systems are inevitably expensive to develop, to buy and to repair. In addition, the features are not so straightforward when it comes to insurance: although the technology can prevent accidents, the car, the repairs, and the cost of claims increase when accidents do happen.
From an insurance perspective, it may be that insurance companies will offer discounts for vehicles with advanced safety features if it is deemed that the reduction in the number and severity of accidents mitigates the higher cost of repair.
So, as things stand, if a driver wants advanced vehicle safety systems, they are available, and they are helpful – so long as they are switched on.