Driving assistance systems use to explode by 2016

Research firm ABI Research believes the market value for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems will hit $10 billion in 2011--and reach $130 billion in 2016.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The controls for some of the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid ADAS.
The controls for some of the 2012 Infinit M Hybrid ADAS. CBS Interactive

As Advanced Driver Assistance Systems become more prevalent in the vehicle industry, their market value will grow at an exponential rate, a new study from ABI Research has found.

This year alone, the market value of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are built by vendors, is expected to hit $10 billion, the research firm reported today. ABI Research forecasts the ADAS market to reach a value of $130 billion in 2016.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems offer several important functions for drivers, including adaptive cruise control that speeds up or slows down the car based on road conditions; warnings when the vehicle starts to drift into another lane; and low-speed collision mitigation. ADAS has been available in some luxury vehicles for well over a decade. However, this year, ADAS will start making its way to "higher-volume" cars, ABI Research says, including the Ford Focus and Mercedes Benz C-Class.

The shift to more popular cars is the result of the improvement ADAS has undergone over the years. Aside from delivering better functionality, the systems are becoming easier to produce. That combination of better performance and lower production cost is helping to bring more car makers into the ADAS game.

New features in ADAS systems are also helping to attract new-car buyers. As ABI Research pointed out, simple warnings when a car drifts into another lane are no longer the norm for ADAS. Now, automakers are installing systems that can turn the car back into the lane. The systems are also capable of maintaining speed limit information to keep drivers informed.

"Blind spot detection is another option that now offers additional functionality on many vehicles," ABI Research research director Larry Fisher said in a statement. "On some radar-based BSD systems this feature can use its sensors to determine when vehicles are approaching from the side when reversing out of a parking space. Other BSD systems are able to look further rearward to check for overtaking vehicles about to enter the blind spot."

Luckily for those who want the latest tech in their cars, there are quite a few options that offer some of the latest and greatest ADAS available.

For example, the CNET Reviews team recently took the 2012 Infinti M Hybrid for a spin. Aside from the typical adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection, the car also included a brake-assist system that automatically brakes the vehicle a car length behind another car. According to CNET's Wayne Cunningham, the system can used "to do your braking for you."

Not bad.

Further reading: CNET's 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid Review