As South Africans, we know all too well how much we rely on our cars to safely get us from point A to point B. So, for us, buying the right car in South Africa is more than just testing its smooth ride. It's also about being able to navigate through various terrains and traffic conditions, whether you’re in the bustling streets of Johannesburg or winding through the scenic roads of the Western Cape.
With the advent of the tech revolution, our cars are receiving major upgrades through Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). Because taking extra precautions when driving is never a bad thing, we think it's important to spotlight these innovative features that could make a significant difference on our roads.
So what's all the fuss about ADAS?
ADAS technology is changing how we drive, layering traditional car features with advanced safety and comfort functions. Features like lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance are your onboard lookout, constantly checking the road to help you avoid accidents. They're built to reduce the chances of collisions and give you more time to react when danger looms. But ADAS isn't just about safety; it's also about making driving less of a chore. It takes the edge off the monotonous parts of driving and helps make long trips feel shorter. ADAS is about stepping up your driving game, giving you peace of mind, and making your travels safer and more enjoyable.
The most common ADAS features you’ll find in cars today
Now that we understand the overarching benefits of ADAS, let's delve into the specific components that make up this innovative system. Here's a simple breakdown of common ADAS features and real-world scenarios where they might just save the day:
Pre-collision system: Prevents crashes by alerting you and braking if needed
Picture this: You're cruising along when suddenly a cyclist swerves in front of you. The pre-collision system senses the potential crash and either alerts you or brakes automatically to avoid a mishap.
Lane departure alert: Keeps you in your lane if you start to drift
Ever find yourself drifting into another lane because that catchy tune on the radio got you distracted? This feature nudges you back on track (your steering wheel literally corrects your direction).
Adaptive cruise control: Automatically slows down and speeds up with traffic
Stuck in the slow crawl of traffic on the N1? This feature maintains a safe distance from the car ahead, adjusting speed automatically. Less stress, more jamming to your favourite tunes.
Automatic high beams: Switches your headlights on and off for you
No more accidentally blinding other drivers or forgetting to switch between high and low beams on dark, load shedded roads. It’s all handled for you.
Blind spot monitor: Lets you know if there's a car in your blind spot
Changing lanes on a busy highway can feel like a game of chance. This feature alerts you of any cars in your blind spot.
Traffic sign recognition: Helps you spot and follow traffic signs
Missed that speed limit sign? This feature keeps you in the know and on the right side of the law.
Rear cross traffic alert: Tells you about cars behind you when you reverse
Reversing out of a cramped parking spot at the mall just got a lot less nerve-wracking. Be alerted of approaching traffic from either side.
ADAS features in South Africa's favourite cars of 2023
Whether you’re navigating through the concrete jungle or cruising along the open road, having a car equipped with ADAS is like having a trusty co-pilot. However, it’s important to remember that the inclusion of these advanced features can vary by model and often comes at an additional cost.
For example, equipping the Ford Ranger with its suite of ADAS features could increase the price by approximately R45,000, while the Volkswagen Polo’s features come with a minimum R10,000 premium. Here's what you can expect from some of the most popular models being sold in South Africa in 2023:
Toyota Corolla Cross:
The Corolla Cross can come with Toyota Safety Sense™ 3.0 which includes a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, and Road Sign Assist. It’s practically a bundle of proactive measures to keep you safe on the road.
Similar to the Corolla Cross, the Hilux is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0, offering a blend of ADAS features that keep you alert and responsive to the dynamics of the road.
Under the IQ Drive package, the Polo offers Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane Keeping System. With an array of features like that, it’s like having a vigilant co-pilot every time you get behind the wheel.
The Ranger, particularly the XLT model, comes with optional ADAS features like Pre-Collision Assist, Post-Collision Braking, Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage, Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Keeping System with Road Edge Detection. Whether you’re navigating through a bustling city or exploring the rugged terrains, the Ranger’s ADAS features offer a shield of protection.
The Picanto can be equipped with Kia's ADAS like Lane-Keeping and Following Assist, Driver-Attention Warnings, and Leading-Vehicle Departure Notification. Even in bustling traffic or long drives on open roads, the Picanto’s ADAS ensures you stay on track and alerts you to keep your focus.
These models reflect a broader shift in the automotive industry towards integrating advanced safety tech to enhance the driving experience. When considering your next car purchase, exploring models with ADAS features is a wise move towards ensuring safer journeys on the captivating yet challenging South African roads.