One of the biggest topics making waves in our industry right now is Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS.) These systems include all the sensors and cameras that detect obstacles near a vehicle and warn the driver to prevent them from getting in an accident.
While ADAS is helping keep drivers safer than ever before, it also adds a lot of complexity to the vehicle repair process.
With ADAS, there are sensors embedded all over the glass, metal, and plastic components that can't simply be fixed by pulling, welding, or aligning alone. Not only do we have to be very careful not to damage or obstruct these components while completing structural repairs, but repairing ADAS components themselves creates some big implications for the future of collision repair.
From now on, the repair process doesn't end at alignment. As more and more vehicles with ADAS hit the road, shops everywhere will need access to equipment that can help recalibrate the sensors and cameras according to the latest OEM specs for every make/model. So you buy this kind of equipment and you're good to go, right? Wrong.
With the growing prevalence of ADAS technology, body shops will have to think less about cycle times and more about accuracy. After all, it doesn't matter how quickly you recalibrate a vehicle if you do it incorrectly and the customer has to come back for more service. Shop owners should prioritize choosing an ADAS calibration system that reduces the possibility for human error. Manual steps like tape measures and physically lining up targets open up the opportunity to be off by just a little bit--and every little bit counts.
Imagine a line that's one millimeter out of place. Now extend that line 50 yards in front of the vehicle. Suddenly one millimeter is way out of line, and the vehicle isn't accurately evaluating its surroundings.
As more and more ADAS calibration systems hit the market, be sure to evaluate them with a long-term view. Will they improve accuracy? Will you have access to the latest specs? How much time will each calibration take to complete? What does that mean for your cycle times?
Like any new equipment purchase, take the time to weigh all the options. But don't take too long--ADAS-equipped vehicles are the future. And that future is already well on its way.