ADAS trickle down from luxury segment to budget cars

November 05, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Driver monitoring systems (DMS), a specific kind of driver assistant systems that observes the driver's physical ability to actively participate in the traffic, are increasingly in demand by car buyers. Over the next years, market researchers expect a significant market size; the highest demand is seen from the Far East. ADAS in general can increasingly be found even in low-end vehicles.

The Market watcher ABI Research predict a market volume of 64.8 million units by 2020. DMS have been invented in Japan by Toyota: In 2006, Toyota started to offer its Driver Attention Monitor. The system utilized an in-dash camera which constantly monitored the driver's face and issued an alert if it noticed any signs of fatigue. Still, Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota with its Lexus brand, Nissan (Infinity) and Mazda are leading the pack, but European vendors Daimler and Volvo will catch up, predicts ABI. Also Volkswagen with its Driver Alert system is offering a DMS as an option. In the USA, carmakers are a bit on the slow side in adopting driver monitoring systems. Currently the only exception is Ford who offers such a system for its Focus compact model.

Less and less, ADAS functionalities in general are an attribute to the luxury class. Instead, as an option they are increasingly available in the C, C and even in the A segment, explains ABI Research principal analyst Gareth Owen. While acceptance for such systems is rising, the price level already has started to erode, states the ABI expert. As examples, he lists the European version of the Ford Focus: A rather sophisticated ADAS for this vehicle carries a price tag of $880 in the UK. The set of functionalities includes emergency brake system, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind spot warning - and the Driver Monitoring System. Volkswagen offers its laser-equipped Emergency Brake System already in its subcompact model Up! at a price between $360 and $648.

These findings are part of ABI Research's Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Service.

www.abiresearch.com