Detroit Assurance ADAS Explained
Detroit Assurance is the marketing name of the suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems, or ADAS, for Freightliner Trucks, and specifically the Cascadia truck model. Detroit Assurance 5.0 is the first commercial truck ADAS system to offer Level 2 automation. Level 1 and 2 require a human driver to be in command, while Level 3 requires “some intervention” from the driver. Level 4 and 5 require no human intervention.
Freightliner has made Detroit Assurance 5.0 a standard feature of their 2020 model Freightliner Cascadia, although dealers can choose to remove this system when ordering trucks. However, Freightliner has reported that over 90% of Cascadia orders include Detroit Assurance 5.0.
Features of Detroit Assurance 5.0
Detroit Assurance uses radar and high definition camera systems to communicate with the ABS, engine, and transmission in real-time. The system can track up to 40 objects at once, identifies the top 6 threats, all while refreshing at 200 times per second. Detroit Assurance can only be utilized if you have the Detroit powertrain package, which includes their DD engines and Detroit DT12 Transmission.
The Detroit Assurance 5.0 system comes standard with the following features:
- Active Brake Assist (ABA) – Full braking on moving and stopped pedestrian and stationary objects.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ADC) – The only system currently available for commercial trucks that will slow the vehicle down to zero miles per hour if there is a moving object in front of the vehicle.
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – notifies the driver through audible and sensory notifications that they are out of their driving lane.
- Traffic Sign Display – A digital display on the dash that displays important road signs you have passed.
- Automatic Wipers & Headlamps – A rain/light sensor detects precipitation on the windshield and adjust your headlamps and wipers automatically.
- Intelligent High Beam – Your headlamps will automatically change from high beam to low beam, and vice-versa.
- Tailgate Warning – Audible and visual signals displayed to the driver if they are in an unsafe tailgating situation. If the driver ignores the warning for more then 10 seconds an event is logged into the ECM.
Owners of Detroit Assurance can also purchase additional safety features as well:
- Lane Departure Protection (LDP) – Once a vehicle is over 37 MPH, the truck with automatically put the vehicle back into its own lane if it is departed and the driver does not correct it.
- Lane Keep Assist (LKA) – When ADC is active, the steering system will make mico-steering adjustments to keep the vehicle centered in the lane.
- Side Guard Assist (SGA) – This system detects objects in the truck's blind spots and warns the driver of an impending collision.
- Video Capture – A driver-facing camera can be installed that allows recordings of 20 to 30 seconds before during, and after an occurrence and transmit them to a web portal to be downloaded later.
Hardware Components of Detroit Assurance
With all those systems, one may think that there is a lot of physical hardware involved in a Level 2 ADAS system, but truthfully there is not. Let’s break down the components that are involved in this.
This system is mounted above the front bumper. The most important thing to know here is that you need to keep the area around it clear. Do not paint over it, do not install non-recommended aftermarket front bumpers. Even installing a license plate near it could cause it to go haywire if the license plate is flapping around in the wind.
These come in two options, and with Detroit Assurance 5.0 it is called the Multipurpose Camera 2, or MPC2 for short. The standard edition faces the road only, while the upgraded dual camera that has one facing the driver is also available. This camera also includes the rain/light sensor used on some of the systems.
This is the optional side sensor used for Side Guard Assist. It is mounted close to the right-side footsteps if the vehicle is a left-hand drive, or on the opposite side if a right-hand drive setup.
… and that is essentially it! While this is the core hardware, the real magic happens inside the software to use these physical devices to create the ADAS functionality. This goes beyond just the engine, as it integrates with the ABS system, dash displays, transmission, and engine functions.
When to Calibrate or Align
Now that we understand the systems and its functionality, let dive deeper into the calibration and repair side.
Let us start with the front and side radars. If these are removed from the truck for any reason, even removed so that something behind them needs to be accessed, they must be calibrated and aligned. Physical damage from a collision also means you need to have those components calibrated and aligned properly as well.
For the camera system, this one also is required to be calibrated in the following conditions:
- The height of the camera from the ground has changed. This could be due to tire size changes, ride height changes, or vehicle configuration changes.
- Anytime the camera is removed, such as if the windshield were replaced.
- Modifications or repairs to the suspension.
Beyond those criteria, the radars also require quick visual inspection. They need to be clear of dirt, ice, snow, and foreign objects. If body repair work is done and too thick of a coating was used it can alter their performance. Body filler or epoxy repair material can also cover the “lens” that the sensor see-through, and clients putting graphics where the sensors are located is known to cause issues.
Detroit Assurance Calibration Procedure
For the camera system, there are two stages of calibration called static calibration and overall calibration. The static calibration can be performed in-shop, with the vehicle parked. The overall calibration requires a test drive. This process also requires finding the exact camera height and programming it into the vehicle. This process does require Detroit Diesel OEM software.
To perform the static calibration, you would use the Detroit Diesel OEM software to run the camera calibration function. After this, the vehicle then needs a 5-10 minute road test and then checked with the software to see that the calibration status is finished.
To perform the alignment commands on the radar, you must also use the Detroit Diesel OEM software to run the radar alignment function. This is done with the vehicle in-shop at first, but then requires a test drive of about 20 minutes. The test drive must have a track vehicle in front of it, and a progress bar displays on the laptop while driving.
Currently, there are no known aftermarket tools to perform these calibration and alignment commands.
Detroit Assurance Final Words
It is important for anyone working on today's commercial trucks to realize you take on a degree of liability when making repairs. If you were to repair a vehicle and did not make the proper calibration and alignment procedures, and then the vehicle is involved in an accident, it would not be a good situation to be in.
Being owned by Daimler, Freightliner has world-class engineers around the globe. It is no surprise to see they lead the pack with driver safety and reaching Level 2 before competitors. For those that prefer video, this one does a great job explaining all the features:
While Detroit Assurance is new, and there are currently no aftermarket diagnostic tools that support, we fully believe that both TEXA and Cojali will not be far behind in creating an aftermarket solution as they have for previous generations of ADAS systems.