Various safety- and driver assistance-related systems such as blind spot monitoring, route guidance, adaptive cruise control, automatic collision notification, and lane departure warning are available for purchase as an individual option or a bundled-options package at costs that vary widely.

February 2006
United States

Summary Information

In February 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a report entitled “Private Sector Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Current Status and Trends” that summarized the current state of deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and related technologies by the private sector in the United States. The report focused primarily on in-vehicle entertainment, information and communications services, and safety systems, their relevant trends and recent developments in the marketplace. The following costs data for safety- and driver assistance-related systems are extracted from this report.

Blind Spot Monitoring (Vision Enhancement)

Blind spot monitoring provides warnings to drivers that another vehicle is in one of the "blind" spots to the side and rear of the car. One such system available on the U.S. market utilizes digital camera-based sensors mounted on the exterior side mirrors and provides a visual warning when another vehicle is in the blind spot. This system is available as an option and is priced at approximately $500 per vehicle. Other mirror-mounted blind spot detection systems are in development, but will utilize 24 GHz radar. Production costs for these systems, installed on both side mirrors, are estimated at $400 to $500 per vehicle.

Navigation/Route Guidance

Navigation units are available as optional or standard equipment on many vehicle models. Navigation units are often integrated with other top-selling, on-board electronics. Several after-market products are also available, with prices around $1,300 to $1,500 for equipment, plus about $15 per month for subscription to a satellite service.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is now available on most high-end automobiles. The cost to the consumer was estimated at $3,000 per vehicle.

On-Board Monitoring and Mayday/Automatic Collision Notification

In case of a crash, concierge services, available through providers such as ATX® and OnStar®, assist motorists by connecting the vehicle to a remote operator who can then contact and dispatch emergency personnel to the scene of the crash. Typically, the hardware, estimated at $350 per unit, and the first year's subscription costs are included in the retail price of the vehicle, with subsequent subscriptions sold on an annual basis. The basic safety-related OnStar® service is $199 per year, which also includes a remote diagnostics system that is linked to sensors monitoring the condition of the engine and electronic systems. Additional service package options costing $399 and $799 per year are also available from OnStar®.

An Advanced Automated Collision (ACN) system detects not only airbag deployment, but also determines the severity of a crash, direction of impact, multiple impacts, and rollover (if equipped with the appropriate sensors). ACN is included in the basic safety and security subscription service package from OnStar® (for $199 per year, as of 2003).

Lane Departure Warning

Lane departure warning (LDW) systems provide an audible and/or visual warning to the driver when the vehicle begins to leave the lane, unless deactivated by the use of the turn signal. LDW systems use vehicle-mounted cameras and image processing software to recognize lane markings, processing this information along with vehicle trajectory data (speed, steering angle). LDW systems were originally developed for heavy-duty trucks and are transitioning to passenger vehicles. These systems have been available in Japanese automobiles since 2002 and entered into the U.S. market beginning with certain 2005 model vehicles. The cost of LDW systems is difficult to quantify because they are often bundled with other option packages or require the purchase of an additional technology package. One automobile manufacturer offered LDW as an option, but the buyers are required to purchase another options package priced around $2,750, then an additional $4,200 for a “technology” package that includes LDW and an assortment of other options.

Electronic Stability Control

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) was offered on 73 North American vehicles during the 2004 model year. GM’s version of ESC, StabiliTrak, is offered on about one-fifth of its models as an option priced between $200 and $800. The company announced its intention to install StabiliTrak on all GM vehicles by 2010.

Bundling of Options

Driver assistance and on-board safety systems are offered as an option on some vehicles, but more often than not these systems are being packaged with comfort, convenience, and entertainment services. A consumer willing to pay for ACC, for example, may forego the purchase if required to buy a more expensive package that includes unrelated and unwanted features such as climate-controlled front seats and a rear-view monitor. As a result, this bundling approach is deterring consumers from purchasing safety systems, according to the source study. Another side effect of bundling is the difficulty in determining the cost of each individual ITS technology.

Research and Development

In addition to the above, many safety-related systems such as rear-end impact warning, forward collision warning, roll stability control, tire stability monitoring, driver condition monitoring, etc. are in research and development phase. Costs data are not available.

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Private Sector Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Current Status and Trends

Author: Peirce, Sean and Jane Lappin

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration

Prepared by Volpe for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: February 2006

EDL Number: 14266

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-06-028


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Cost ID: 2008-00175