June is National Safety Month and, to celebrate, we’re collecting unique perspectives from colleagues working on advanced safety technology, ranging from insights on important progress to why they show up to work every single day. Stay tuned each week for a fresh viewpoint.
When Vincey Chui first got interested in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), she initially wanted to work on research and development for fully autonomous driving. But when she joined Continental’s ADAS team, she wound up taking a different path.
“When I interviewed to join the Continental ADAS team, the interviewer explained that I would be working on driver assistance technologies that would go to market within 2-3 years instead of working on technology for high levels of autonomous driving which would take longer to develop,” Vincey remembered.
I thought it would still be exciting to work on cutting edge technology that would reach consumers sooner rather than later – and I was right.
Today, Vincey is a Safety Functions Group Leader and works on short-range radar and safety function algorithms. These algorithms are part of a vehicle’s software, and are a set of calculations that use radar sensor data as inputs to give outputs to the driver, such as visual LED warnings on the side mirrors when someone is driving in their blind spot zone. These algorithms and technologies Vincey work on enable ADAS safety functions like automatic emergency braking, trailer merge warning, rear cross traffic braking and others.
While ADAS technologies can help improve driver safety, they are not considered fully autonomous driving technologies.
“At this point, the safety functions I work on and other ADAS features are not meant to be a substitute for engaged drivers – they still need to be paying full attention,” Vincey explained. “Even so, many advanced safety features currently available to drivers have the potential to make a huge impact on improving road safety.”
A study from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows that a combination of forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control reduced bodily injury insurance claims by a remarkable 37 percent. All of these ADAS technologies are currently available on vehicles.
“I’m inspired by the additional safety that my team’s safety functions can bring to drivers. We work hard to understand how to improve our existing algorithms, which results in better products for consumers. If our algorithms detect an emergency braking situation, the software can send a brake request to the vehicle system, ” Vincey said. “I am excited to be working toward a future where ADAS technologies are more accessible and affordable to car buyers to help reduce vehicle crash-related injuries.”