Post-repair calibration must be completed to ensure advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors are functioning to the vehicle manufacturers’ specified tolerances, Thatcham Research has this week advised the automotive repair and insurance industries.
More than 10 per cent of vehicles on the road today are fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), equating to some four million cars but a lack of awareness on how to approach the repair of vehicles equipped with such safety critical systems is of increasing concern, according to industry experts.
According to Thatcham research, if ADAS sensors, or parts that are in proximity to ADAS sensors, are included in a repair specification, calibration post repair must be completed to confirm sensors are functioning to the vehicle manufacturers’ specified tolerances.
Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Researcher, said: “As ADAS continues its ever-increasing penetration into the car parc, the lack of a clear approach to the repair of ADAS-equipped vehicles is having an effect across the whole repair industry.
“For their own peace of mind, insurers and repairers need proof that they have taken all reasonable steps to reinstate the safety functions of a vehicle before returning it to the road.”
Essential advice for garages
- Assess for the presence of ADAS sensors and record the outcome clearly.
- Research and seek guidance from relevant repair methods and calibration instructions.
- Ensure all calibration activities are completed by currently competent technicians
- Complete system calibration in accordance with the relevant repair method/instruction.
- Be able to demonstrate that the calibration of all affected sensors has been completed and that the results of the calibration confirms functionality within the vehicle manufacturer’s specified tolerance – unless stated otherwise in the repair specification.
- Where no specific repair guidance exists, and functionality cannot be proven through systemised calibration, then advice should be sought from the vehicle manufacturer’s dealership network and appropriate action taken prior to vehicle release.
- If vehicle manufacturer information states dynamic calibration, this should be completed and confirmed prior to vehicle release.
“The whole industry needs to work together”
Billyeald continues, “The whole industry needs to work together to make sure ADAS repairs are safe and vehicles are returned to the road quickly and efficiently.
“Equipment suppliers must ensure that verifiable evidence of a successful calibration is provided.
“Repairers must invest in training to ensure competent persons are reinstating ADAS safely.
“And vehicle manufacturers must provide ADAS fitment data and consistent advice around which repair scenarios will result in successful ADAS calibration.”
“Important part of putting a vehicle back onto the roads”
Laurenz Gerger, policy adviser for motor insurance at the Association of British Insurers, said: “Ensuring these high-tech systems are working effectively after a repair is an important part of putting a vehicle back onto the roads and we are committed to helping establish the standards and processes to make sure this happens.”
Thatcham Research is also working with the industry to develop a Code of Practice and has commenced a round of consultation with Vehicle Manufacturers, insurers, windscreen repair and replacement companies, equipment providers and repairers.
The full Code of Practice is to be released later this year.
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