Do ADAS equipped cars need a button to disable the feature?

With so many new drivers on the road, ADAS features like blind spot warning, collision braking assist, high beam assist, and rear cross-traffic avoidance assist help to keep them and others on the road safe. But more seasoned drivers prefer having the driver assistance features switched off.

We recently had a thread on whether you find the ADAS features in a car useful or not. ~60% of the people who voted felt that the ADAS features were useless and wouldn’t use them. As someone who loves to drive, I would agree with the sentiment, but it’s hard to ignore the safety that some of the features provide.

With so many new drivers on the road, ADAS features like blind spot warning, collision braking assist, high beam assist, and rear cross-traffic avoidance assist help to keep them and others on the road safe. But more seasoned drivers prefer having the driver assistance features switched off. As for me, I don’t mind using adaptive cruise control when out on the long expressways where the lanes are properly marked and you have to stick to the speed limit. However, in the city, I prefer having everything switched off completely as the systems can prove to be too intrusive on Indian roads. Specifically, the forward collision braking assist in some cars like the Hyundai Creta and MG Hector has been tuned aggressively which means that the car applies brakes on its own even when there's good enough distance. In some cars though like in Tata Safari, you get three levels of adjustment for the sensitivity of the emergency braking.

In most cars, the ADAS features can be switched off individually through the touchscreen infotainment head-unit. In some cars, you can switch them off through the MID using steering-mounted controls. Then you have a car like the Jeep Grand Cherokee in which you need to switch off the lane keep assist by pressing a button on top of the touchscreen every time you start the car.

So, the question here is pretty simple. Would you prefer having an ADAS On/Off switch that would activate or deactivate ALL the functions of ADAS? Or do you prefer having to select features individually?

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Voted yes, I want a MASTER On/Off button for ADAS, just like we have for engine idling start / stop systems.

Main reason = ADAS auto-braking is dangerous in India. I have had a couple of close shaves myself when the car hard-brakes unexpectedly, and a few BHPians have reported accidents where they got rear-ended. These braking systems are tuned for Europe & USA, not India where the gaps to other vehicles & pedestrians are much slimmer.

It's a 2-minute ritual now = every time I get a media test-drive car, I spend 2 minutes going through the menu and switching all the systems off. Did it for the Seltos, C40 Recharge, Safari Facelift etc. Not only does this take too long, but on a rare occasion or two, I've forgotten to disable these systems.

A master on-off switch like we have for idling start / stop will be just perfect and keep both camps happy (ADAS supporters as well as naysayers).

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

In a perfect world, I want a top of line variant without Level 2 ADAS at all. I’ll do my own braking thank you very much.

Coming to the question. If the vehicle I buy must be with ADAS, I would definitely want ADAS to be custom switch off’able. Ideally, I would like this to be a memory setting that stays in the selected mode even if you stop and re-start the car. Or one where you can yourself choose what default mode you want - on or off. In terms of the setting level, it may as well offer both options. Turn “all” off vs turn off selectively as you please. For instance in my Mercedes, I like blind spot warning (but not lane departure override or automatic braking). Similarly I don’t mind auto braking in parking mode if there is a rear obstacle. But most importantly, it should respect the settings selected when you restart the car. If it’s a safety issue, it can always deal with it with a warning when starting up as to what the chosen setting are - instead of forcing the user to reselect them every single time.

One of the most annoying aspects of my Mercedes is that I have to get into 3 levels of menus to switch off automatic braking EVERY time I start the car and take off again. One of the singularly most annoying aspects of driving a modern ADAS equipped car.

Here's what BHPian Samurai had to say on the matter:

Before owning a level 2 ADAS equipped car, I would have voted YES. But after driving the top end Tucson for 3 months, I have changed my mind.

I have never turned off the emergency braking after taking delivery. I decided so because I knew I won't remember to switch it off every time. So, I better get used having it on, and so far, not regretted it.

I just keep a decent distance from the front vehicle and so far, it has not done any dangerous braking on me during the wrong time. Oh, it has applied emergency braking couple of times, but nothing close to getting me into trouble.

But I have turned off the lane departure warning & assist, it is too irritating to drive with, and it stays off.

I prefer switching off features individually, and that is what I picked in the poll.

Here's what BHPian bblost had to say on the matter:

The first month of owning my Verna, it gave a couple of scares when the car braked hard.

But this was during the first 500 kms of the ownership.

Now my car is almost at 4000 kms. The last 3500 kms had just one ADAS emergency braking and it saved the idiot driver in front of me, who braked for no particular reason after crossing a traffic light.

ADAS, I feel has made me a better driver.

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

Voted Yes.

While the option to individually toggle each feature is what I would like, but a master ADAS on/off is non negotiable.

Why? First for ease of use and if anyone has driven in T2 traffic they probably get a hang of what I am talking about. Short distances, longer travel times, chaotic traffic, even on the highways.

And when the car is being used by someone else I don't think drivers here would be able to comprehend the pre-drive checklist let alone keep it as a memory item

Here's what BHPian Rajeevraj had to say on the matter:

While I do not have a car with L2 ADAS built in, as I have been working in this domain, have had the opportunity to have and test an after-market ADAS system in my car for the last ~4 years. Being an after-market system, it is only a warning system and does not do any active interventions. This I have felt is a good starting point-Give appropriate warning to the drivers and over a period of time this helps improve driver behavior. The situations and speeds at which different warnings trigger are also important. For example a tailgating alert is active only at speeds greater than 30kmph. An FCW has a different urgency below 30, a Lane Departure is triggered only above 50kmph. Even with all this, some of the warnings can get intrusive/irritating in some situations.

Keeping all this in mind, my vote for active systems is that they should be managed easily on an individual basis. Manufacturers should also look at different levels of sensitivity based on speed which users can adjust for each alert.

Having said that, managing these should also be made easy. People cannot keep fiddling with these settings all the time. One suggestion is that manufacturers can create different profiles that users can quickly select depending on the driving condition. For example: Have a warning only profile or a low intervention profile. This will ensure more and more people will use the ADAS safety features and not blindly turn everything off because there are 2 things that they do not like or are not comfortable with.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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