Get Your Shop 'ADAS-Ready'
Jan. 4, 2021—It’s no secret that repairing damaged vehicles is becoming increasingly more difficult due to the complexity of today’s vehicles. Advanced driver assistance systems can be found on almost any vehicle on the road today, but few collision repair shops are prepared to repair these finicky systems.
Chuck Olsen, senior vice president of automotive technology solutions for AirPro Diagnostics, explained where the hesitation stems from and how shops can overcome it in order to keep the next generation of drivers safe.
What is ADAS?
Regular ADAPT readers will know that ADAS refers to the variety of safety technologies that include cruise control, lane change warnings, emergency braking, and thousands more. ADAS functions using both radar and camera sensors placed around the vehicle to monitor its surroundings and prepare for unexpected movements in traffic.
When a vehicle suffers a collision of any kind, the ADAS features need to be recalibrated, Olsen says. Failure to recalibrate these systems could cause the vehicle to behave in unplanned ways, for example, deploying the emergency brake under a desolate highway overpass.
Why is there resistance to ADAS calibrations?
Olsen says he attributes the slow adoption of ADAS calibrations to the overwhelming amount of information that must be ingested. Calibration procedures differ by automaker, by model, and even by year, which he says is a source of frustration for many independent shops.
Calibrating a sensor requires ideal circumstances, specialized software, and even specific tools—all of which vary by make, model, and year.
“Part of the difficulty is identifying what it is you have to do, but also when you have to do it,” he says.
Olsen says that’s why AirPro partnered with adasThink, a company that extracts necessary ADAS calibration procedures directly from a written estimate. But for smaller shops that may not have the budget to partner with such a company, Olsen recommends becoming “ADAS-ready.”
What does it mean to be ADAS-ready?
Olsen says even if your business doesn’t want to take on the full responsibility of performing ADAS calibrations, your shop still needs to be what he calls “ADAS-ready.”
In order to be ADAS-ready, Olsen says your shop should be able to complete the pre-calibration procedures such as performing alignments, checking tire pressures and fuel levels, and clearing each of the diagnostic trouble codes.
“Even if you sublet for ADAS, each of these has to be done correctly,” says Olsen.
Are there drawbacks to not being ADAS-ready?
Olsen says if your shop fails to do the pre-calibration procedures, it could end up costing you in a few different ways.
By failing to do alignments and other first-step tasks, Olsen says it will slow down your sublet, making a longer cycle time, and could lead to lower customer satisfaction.
Olsen also warns that by not completing the necessary steps before sending the vehicle out for calibration, your shop could be charged for the steps that were skipped.