Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), as its name suggests, are technologies intended to help the driver in his or her driving activities. Many new cars today are offered with ADAS, although not all are capable of providing some form of self-driving functionality.

Enter Kommu, a Malaysian company that is looking to revolutionise self-driving in Malaysia with KommuAssist, a plug and play system that it says enables Level 2 semi-autonomous driving functions in your existing car.

These functions include full-range adaptive cruise control (ACC) with low-speed follow, which has no minimal speed threshold and will brake the vehicle to a stop – handy during traffic jams. The amount of time the system can hold the brakes when the vehicle is stopped depends on the model it is fitted to.

For example, it’s up three seconds for Perodua models, after which the driver will need to step on the brake to hold position, then reengage the system once traffic moves. Meanwhile, in Toyota models that already have factory-fitted ACC (with stop and go and an electronic parking brake as standard) can keep still indefinitely even after the lead car moves, so the driver will need to tap the accelerator (with ACC still on) to get the car moving; the addition of KommuAssist negates the need for the driver to do so.

Kommu says the full-range ACC function can also help to brake the car more actively when a frontal object is detected, serving as an enhancement to factory-fitted autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems.

Keep in mind that not all vehicles fitted with KommuAssist are capable of this, and for those vehicles that aren’t supported to that level, they get a limited form of ACC instead. This “semi ACC” is without the braking function, so it doesn’t add any AEB. Instead, the vehicle will be capable of cruising at a set speed with lead car detection, and will stop accelerating when the lead car is detected in the set distance.

Both forms of ACC that come with KommuAssist are aimed at providing drivers with more convenience on long distance drives, as they reduce the need to constantly work the pedals. Even so, the company insists that drivers must pay full attention to the road ahead even when KommuAssist is active

Besides cruise control functions, KommuAssist also comes with active lane keep control, which keeps the vehicle in lane, as well as driver facial monitoring that is an essential safety feature to alert the driver should he or she not pay attention to the road ahead.

To enable these functions, the KommuAssist hardware list includes KommuVision, which is the “brain” of the system that runs the BukaPilot software built upon an open-source driving agent called OpenPilot. In addition to providing processing power, KommuVision also houses a camera that acts as the system’s “eyes.”

The next bit of kit is KommuPower to supply power to the system and the KommuActuator, the latter being the primary interface with a car’s electric power steering, braking and throttle systems. For cars that support KommuAssist’s full-range ACC, the KommuRelay is used instead of the KommuActuator to interface with the car’s existing ADAS camera.

As mentioned, the system is entirely plug and play with no need to intercept your car’s electrical systems. Kommu also notes that the installed hardware will not replace or restrict the functions of the car’s original safety features, and the system can be removed easily. All hardware will continue to receive software and firmware updates for at least 1 year after the launch of the latest generation.

According to Kommu, vehicles that support KommuAssist’s full-range ACC include the:

  • 2020-2022 Perodua Ativa (AV)
  • 2022 Perodua Myvi (AV)
  • 2019-2020 Toyota Alphard
  • 2021-2022 Toyota Camry
  • 2020-2022 Toyota Corolla
  • 2021-2022 Toyota Prius
  • 2019-2021 Lexus ES
  • 2020 Lexus NX
  • 2020-2021 Lexus UX
  • 2020-2021 Lexus RX

Meanwhile, cars that support KommuAssist’s semi ACC are the:

  • 2019-2022 Perodua Axia (GXtra, Style, SE and AV)
  • 2020-2022 Perodua Bezza (X and AV)
  • 2017-2021 Perodua Myvi (G, X, H and AV)

In terms of pricing, KommuAssist retails at RM3,499 for vehicles in the first list and includes the following hardware: KommuVision, KommuPower and KommuRelay. As for vehicles in the second list, it’s RM3,599 for the kit, which includes the same items, but replaces the KommuRelay with the KommuActuator. The company invites interested parties to sign up for test drives, where any additional questions can also be asked.

After all that’s been said, there’s one pressing question that some of you might have: is KommuAssist a system that is compliant with the Road Transport Department (JPJ)?

According to the company, it’s currently working with JPJ to get its system to comply with the Autonomous Vehicle Guideline regulated by the Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) committee established by the ministry of transport (MOT), Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), JPJ and Futurise.

What about insurance then? Well, Kommu says its on the vehicle owner to check with their insurer about coverage, although it did note in its FAQ that “we have not been told that cars with KommuAssist installed are rejected for coverage.”

So, what are your thoughts on KommuAssist? Would you be willing to install the system in your vehicle to be able to have access to Level 2 semi-autonomous driving features? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.