Detecting the opportunity: ADAS

The growth in the deployment of ADAS systems on vehicles means garages need to work out how to take advantage of this emerging revenue stream

Published:  20 April, 2018

Vehicles are being equipped with advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) in increasing numbers. It is predicted that by 2020, more than 40% of new vehicles will have at least two types of  ADAS system fitted as standard.

Robin Huish, managing director at Hickleys ltd comments: “This is one of the fastest growing segments in the vehicle diagnostic market. ADAS is now installed as standard  to all makes and models of vehicle from high-end, high-spec vehicles right through to small city cars.”

Like any part of a vehicle, ADAS sometimes requires attention: “Due to wear, damage or failure,  these systems often need to be repaired and calibrated. This is carried out by means of static target boards, alignment lasers and dynamic test drives.

“For this reason garages are now increasingly seeing more demand and are waking up to the opportunity.” Examples of when you would need to carry out ADAS calibration include:

  •  After the replacement of a windscreen
  •  When the vehicle has been involved in an accident and suffered damage to a radar system
  •  When the system is fallen out of calibration
  •  If the calibration has been altered or the measuring devices moved out of calibration
  •  When new components have been replaced and requires calibration

Commenting on the ADAS offering from Hickleys Ltd, Robin says: “We have invested heavily to ensure that we can provide garages with good advice about the options they can take to benefit from the ADAS opportunity.

“Firstly we are able to offer solutions from three manufacturers; Bosch, Texa and our own brand RCCT. Each system has individual features that mean we can tailor the best solution for your garage and customer needs. We have invested in a demonstration vehicle, demonstration equipment and have trained a specialist to give you the very best technical advice, tailored demonstrations and competitive quotation.”

On the overall opportunity, Robin observes: ”ADAS calibration regularly attract charges of £250 per vehicle and the increase in cameras and radar devices installed all around the vehicles create accident damage work and standard repairs. With these revenue opportunities the pay back on ADAS equipment can be rapid.

“It is now possible to get a comprehensive ADAS calibration system complete with diagnostics for as little as £75 per week, that’s potentially one  job per month to cover the lease payments.”

Added complexity
It might provide a new opportunity, but ADAS also adds further complexity from a servicing perspective, according to Paul Beaurain, managing director at Pro-Align:
“The proliferation of ADAS on vehicles and their subsequent servicing and calibration means that
correct wheel alignment is now safety critical, rather than just highly recommended.

“The most important aspect for technicians to understand about ADAS servicing is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to their servicing and calibration. Differences exist between the systems, the manufacturer and vehicle, methodology and hardware requirements.

Static Vs Dynamic
Paul continues: “Calibrating ADAS sensors is a precision process that can be complex and time consuming. Some sensors can be calibrated in the workshop (static), others require that the vehicle is driven on the road (dynamic) and many sensors require both procedures. The time involved can vary massively from as little as just 15 minutes to an hour or more.

“Camera sensors generally require dynamic sensor calibration, whereas radar sensor often require static adjustment followed by dynamic calibration. This varies between vehicles so always check manufacturer instructions. Not only does ADAS servicing require commitment from the workshop from a time perspective, but it also needs to ensure it has the right facilities and tools. Pro-Align has teamed up with TEXA to complement their Hunter wheel alignment systems, offering workshops a comprehensive solution to this challenge which includes scan tools and aiming targets.

“Static (in-workshop) calibrations normally start by establishing the vehicle’s centreline. Next special targets are positioned in precise locations relative to the centreline and sensor. Most target location are 1-10 metres away from the vehicle so adequate workshop space is essential.

“Camera aiming targets, which are usually black and white patterned images, may also be required these are manufacturer specific. Some cars then require the sensor to be mechanically levelled, using a special tool dedicated to that OEM. This procedure requires that the vehicle is on a level surface.

“The final step in static ADAS sensor calibration is to initiate the process using a factory scan tool or aftermarket equivalent. The process occurs automatically and the ECU indicates to the scan tool when the calibration has been successfully and completed.

“Dynamic calibration involves initiating the process with a factory scan tool or aftermarket equivalent, then driving the car on relatively straight roads with clear lane markings for between five and 30 minutes at specified speeds until the scan tool indicates calibration is complete. In some instances, you may need to drive down a road which has lots of signs and other ‘furniture.’“  

Paul adds: “Weather and road conditions can disrupt or prevent this process. Again, you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Added value
There is more than one way to crack ADAS. Rupert Armitage, managing director at Auto Windscreens observes: “The development in ADAS technology has been rapid and there is a real opportunity to give added value to customers by educating them on these systems and the action needed.

“At Auto Windscreens, we have spent the last two years working with vehicle manufacturers, so that we understand the safety implications of replacing a windscreen fitted with ADAS. It is my personal belief that, before-long, direct partnerships with the vehicle manufacturers themselves will be the only compliant method of recalibration, a method that Auto Windscreens has pioneered and has been officially endorsed by Volkswagen Group, Toyota and Mazda to name but three.”

On the technical and logistical challenges, Rupert comments: “As we head towards fully autonomous vehicles, the ADAS systems are going to become more sophisticated and the technology and knowledge needed to recalibrate them back to warranty manufacturer standard will also increase. The technology should improve the safety of the vehicle, but only if it has been recalibrated correctly.

“Our ADAS solution means that we’re the only windscreen provider that has partnered with the vehicle manufacturers themselves. Our solution is investment free for garages and bodyshops as there’s no need to pay for aftermarket equipment, which can cost as much approx. £20,000, and that cannot recalibrate 100% of the market.“

Rupert adds: “Our process also means that we only use manufacturer approved glass, can guarantee that the technology upgrades for each vehicles are up to date and that the vehicle is returned to the customer in the exact condition that the vehicle manufacturer intended.”

Related Articles

  • ADAS is the word 

    Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have gone from a nice-to-have to a legal requirement in a relatively short space of time.

    It is a huge market and it is growing, so more and more cars coming through the door have these systems. This means that if garages don’t have the knowledge, training and equipment required to calibrate ADAS systems correctly, they could be ruling themselves out of business entirely.

    The future, today
    ADAS is the word, and it is the future, today. Robin Huish, Managing Director of Hickleys agrees: “ADAS was an increasing topic of conversation throughout 2018, continues to be in 2019 and this sure to continue  in the coming years. The level of ADAS systems being installed on new cars is increasing rapidly but that doesn’t mean this is something you can consider for the future; ADAS systems fitted to vehicles regularly coming into the independent garage need repair and calibration now.
    “If you want to offer a complete service to your customers you need to consider equipping your workshops and assembling the knowledge to deal with ADAS as soon as possible. One thing is for sure these systems are not going to go away and the demand for service and calibration will rapidly increase.”

    Camera and Radar
    Robin breaks down the opportunity: “ADAS systems are developed to improve safety and lead to better driving. Safety features are designed to avoid collisions and accidents by offering technologies that alert the driver to potential problems, or to avoid collisions by implementing safeguards and in some cases taking over control of the vehicle.
    “Broadly the market splits into two sectors, Camera and Radar. The equipment required to work with both systems varies. Camera was first to impact the independent market in a big way, with a front-facing camera fitted to a windscreen. When a windscreen is replaced the camera requires recalibration. Most windscreen replacement companies now are able to carry out this task with carefully chosen diagnostic scan tools and calibration hardware. This has now become a major part of their income stream. Recently the ability to offer mobile calibration equipment has again increased the opportunity for mobile diagnostic specialists to carry out these tasks. Of course, windscreen replacement is just one market sector that needs ADAS equipment. Crash repairers, diagnostic specialists, independent garages, fast fits and fleet workshops will all face the need to repair front and rear camera systems.

    “Radar is the fastest expanding area, firstly using front and rear detection but now covering the whole surrounding area of the car including blind spots, pedestrian detection, traffic signal information and emergency braking. The equipment required for radar calibration is similar to camera, again using carefully selected diagnostic scan tools and various radar attachments and accessories. This can be an expansion of the camera equipment using the same basic equipment and stand. Again for the mobile specialist, the equipment is easily transported.”

    How does a garage incorporate ADAS into their business? “ADAS calibrations are usually around £150 to £250,” says Robin, “and diagnostic repairs where an ADAS system has failed adds many hundreds of pounds of revenue to a forward-thinking garage.”
    What about kit? “There is a range of equipment available from diagnostic suppliers such as Bosch, Texa and Hickleys’ exclusive brand RCCT. With prices from only £4,995 joining the ADAS boom is surprisingly easy with repayments from as little as £27 per week.”

    Robin says think before you leap though: “One word of warning is to carefully select your equipment and speak to a specialist that doesn’t represent just one brand. Get an
    on-site demonstration and review the options considering all aspects of the market, consider carefully your chosen diagnostic tool as well. ADAS information varies dramatically from tool to tool and some manufacturers are locking down their software so it can only be used with their hardware. This is fine if they cover everything but what happens if they fall behind, do you buy it all again from another supplier?”

    As with many areas, independents need to be strong and fight their corner: “Despite recent comments – generally from the those affiliated to the vehicle manufacturers or bodies closely associated – discouraging independents from recalibrating ADAS systems,” says Neil Hilton, Head of Business Development for Hella Gutmann Solutions (HGS), “the fact remains that vehicles fitted with the technology are entering workshops daily. As a result, the sector needs to make a choice and either embrace it or ignore the opportunities it provides.”

    Legislation has its part to play: “Since 2016, to qualify for a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating, the VMs have to fit their vehicles with, as a minimum requirement, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning. These are both complex systems that, following any intervention that affects their set-up, require specialist recalibration equipment to reset the cameras or radars on which the vehicle relies for its ADAS operation.”
    Neil continues: “This naturally includes accident damage and windscreen replacement, but it also encompasses general service and repair work, such as adjustment to the vehicle’s tracking or wheel alignment, as well as coil spring or steering component replacement. In short, anything that affects the vehicle’s geometry, because it is through this datum that ADAS functions are calibrated and then operate.”

    Commenting on the HGS offering, Neil says: “Clearly, VMs and their associates, do not want the independent sector to have any interaction with these systems, so unless independents are simply willing to cede the business back to the dealer, there has to be an aftermarket solution, which is what HGS has been championing for more than five years. HGS is the market leader for ADAS technology in the aftermarket and offers a comprehensive multi-brand solution, covering more than 92% of the UK’s ADAS equipped car parc. The company has become renowned for its knowledge and expertise on this complicated subject, with multiple high profile businesses, including Thatcham Research, the motor insurers’ automotive research centre and Autoglass in the UK and Europe, CESVI in France and AIG Insurance Group, using the Hella Gutmann Solutions CSC (Camera and Sensor Calibration) tool to establish the standards the sector should be meeting in regards to ADAS recalibration. Therefore, providing an independent goes through the correct procedure in terms of setting-up the equipment that comes with the CSC tool – an operation that once learned takes only 20 minutes or so – it can undertake ADAS recalibration with complete confidence and to the same standard as the dealer.”
    Another issue for VMs  is the quality of the parts used in any pre-recalibration repair as they  prefer the use of their genuine parts programmes, installed by an affiliated dealer.
    “From an aftermarket perspective however,” Neil concludes, “provided the independent uses replacement components of comparable quality to the OE part, which are installed following the correct procedure, the repair will conform with Block Exemption regulations and the recalibration will be valid, so allowing the independent to compete with the dealer in an open and fair market.”

  • Snap-on diagnostic software upgrade  

    Snap-on has released a new diagnostic software upgrade. Much of the new coverage relates to ADAS systems. Examples of the additions include adaptive cruise control modules on several Alfa Romeo and Fiat models, blind spot monitoring for Hyundai, Land Rover and Mazda variants, Vauxhall Mokka parking assistance and lane keep assist on several Renault and Lexus vehicles. The new ADAS coverage is on top of the wide range of new vehicles and systems added in the latest upgrade. Purchasing the update also back-fills technicians’ tools with all of the information from each previous Snap-on release, bringing the capability to deal with late-model and older vehicles alongside support for facing the new challenges coming into the workshop each day. ZEUS and VERUS Edge users will also benefit from improved management and storage of vehicle photos and diagnostic screenshots, along with faster access on their units to recently-scanned vehicles. Users of the Snap-on ZEUS, SOLUS Edge, MODIS Edge and Ultra platforms, and the VERUS and VERDICT family of products, also get exclusive access to SureTrack with the upgrade.

  • Lighting the way  

    The introduction of Xenon HID bulbs has been one of the biggest vehicle lighting developments of the last 20 years. As they become more common and are no longer restricted to just premium or luxury cars, many more motorists are now benefiting from the crisper, whiter colour temperatures, helping them see road signs and obstacles more clearly. In addition, legislation was introduced in 2012 so new vehicles produced after then would use D3 and D4 references, which do not contain mercury. Ring stocks a comprehensive range of Xenon HIDs, including the new D5 reference.

  • Johnson Controls EFB range 

    90% of all newly produced vehicles have a Stop/Start system, which requires a more comprehensive energy supply than conventional cars with few electrical functions. Stop/Start technology is also used in small and medium-sized passenger cars. You can find the right battery in the new and extended EFB product range for almost all entry level Stop/Start vehicles. The range extension includes three new JIS types for market coverage of vehicles of Asian car manufacturers, one new EN type (H8) for higher coverage of Italian car manufacturers, and 3 upgrades to current EN types (H5, H6 and H7) to optimise cold-cranking performance values.

  • In the heat of the fault  

    At the workshop we cover all kinds of vehicles, old, new, big and small but with all these vehicles we need up to date diagnostic equipment to be able locate faults within the electrical system.
    In the workshop this summer was a 2009 Volkswagen Golf that had an intermittent issue which meant the car would go into limp mode, the cruise control was disabled and the climate control wouldn’t work. Understandably in the weather we were having the lack of air conditioning was a major concern to the customer. No one wants to be without air conditioning in 30Cº.
    I plugged in the trusty diagnostics reader and came up with four faults. These included turbo boost sensor, manifold pressure, throttle pedal position sensor and ‘fuel system
    too rich’.
    In my experience cars can throw up all kinds of trouble codes even when there is no issue with that part. I wouldn’t say some manufacturers are more troublesome than others but if a light does appear on the dash it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible.

    I cleared the fault codes and told the customer to see how it drove and if the issues resolved themselves. The customer had the car for just an hour before they called and said that the problem had reoccurred, as much as this is a pain for the customer I always clear the faults and see if it happens again rather than changing unnecessary sensors. I got the Golf back into the workshop and once again plugged the computer in, which brought up one code. This was the throttle position sensor. A quick call to VW and a discussion with their parts people showed that this particular issue can lead to the cruise and climate control not working.
    Next day delivery on the part means the car came back in the following day. One bolt, two plastic clips and an electrical connection later and the pedal was off. Gone are the days of the throttle cable. The throttle response is now done by a sensor on the pedal which works out how far the pedal is being pushed and tells the engine how to respond. It is clever stuff,  when it works.
    A pedal replacement on the Golf only takes five minutes and another clear of the fault code before taking the car for a road test. On the test drive cruise and climate control were checked as well as making sure no dash lights had appeared.
    Modern mechanics have become very computerised. Dash lights appear whether it is indicating an issue with the airbag systems, ABS or engine and diagnostic computers are so important to narrow down what the issue could be. I dislike the reliance that some workshops put on just trusting what appears on the screen of the diagnostics. It is still imperative that mechanics test sensors and look into live data to make sure that unnecessary components are not replaced and the costs put onto the customer, who will have to pay.

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