ASA is short for Advanced Safety Assist, and it’s found on the Perodua Myvi and Aruz - but only on the highest 1.5 AV variant.
ASA is Perodua’s marketing term for what is generically known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). Never mind about the confusing terminologies, here’s a simple explanation of what ASA does and whether is it worth your money.
In short, ASA is a safety feature that steps in when the driver is distracted and doesn’t notice the danger ahead. It could be as simple as not braking hard or fast enough to avoid a potential collision ahead, or even selecting the wrong gear – for example, wrongly selecting Drive instead of Reverse, when reversing out of a parking.
ASA works by using a camera mounted behind the rear view mirror. Of course, this is not a normal camera but a stereo camera, meaning that it has two lenses to allow to it to judge distance, just like humans can see with one eye but to accurately judge distance, we need two eyes.
However because this is a simple system that uses only camera (higher range cars complement the camera with milimetre wave radar), it has a limited operating range and poor weather like heavy rain can impair its function.
Still, it works well enough for a budget car and the Myvi remains the cheapest car on sale in Malaysia to have such ADAS functions.
There are two versions of ASA – the Myvi uses an earlier version, which detects only vehicles, while the Aruz uses a newer version (ASA 2.0) that is capable of detecting pedestrians as well (adults only).
Here’s are the four functions of ASA:
Frontal accident prevention: Warning buzzes (Pre-Collision Warning) alerts the driver if the car is approaching the danger ahead too fast, applies maximum braking pressure (Pre-Collision Braking) if driver does not react in time.
Whether ASA is able to avoid an accident or merely reducing the severity of the crash is highly dependent on vehicle speed, tyres and road conditions.
Note that ASA is unable to detect uneven shape rear of lorry trailers and small vehicles like motorcycles or bicycles.
Apart from the main function of collision avoidance, ASA also has two other minor driver support functions.
Front Departure Alert works when the car is temporarily stopped behind another car – in a traffic light or traffic jam for example. If ASA detects that the vehicle in front has driven off and the driver is not responding, it buzzes a warning.
Pedal Misoperation Control prevents the driver from selecting the wrong gear and accidently driving into a wall instead of reversing out. If ASA detects that there is a wall ahead, it suppresses engine output and warning buzzer alerts the driver. The car will still move, but very slowly.
Note that ASA’s Pedal Misoperation Control only works on the front of the vehicle. It is unable to prevent driver error in the opposite facing direction. Also, the feature is not foolproof as it is unable to prevent driver error if the surface ahead is made from glass or any other transparent material, or if it's a pattern-less single colour surface like a metal shutter.
Difference between ASA and ASA 2.0
The Myvi’s ASA works only between 4 - 30 km/h while the Aruz’s ASA 2.0 has a higher speed range of up to 100 km/h.
The Aruz's ASA 2.0 is also capable of detecting pedestrians, which the Myvi’s earlier ASA is limited only to recognizing vehicles. The Aruz's pedestrian detection is only limited to adults as the system can’t detect shorter human figures, children for example.
Collision with pedestrian can be avoided if speed is lower than 50 km/h, subject to tyre and road conditions of course.
Since the Toyota Rush is a sister-car of the Perodua Aruz. The same function is also found in the Toyota Rush (1.5S variant only), except that Toyota calls it Pre-Collision System (PCS).
While ASA seeks to prevent driver error, it is important to remember that the driver will still have to be responsible for safe operation of the vehicle. There are limits to how well ASA can work. As mentioned, it relies on camera. Dirty windscreen, bad weather, or poor lighting (or even intense direct sunlight) can impede effective operation of ASA.