ADAS and Vehicle Alignment

An Absolute Alignment White Paper

ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems – they are the active controls being built into cars, vans and trucks. They range from adaptive cruise control through snooze sensors and automatic parking systems. A fuller description is in this Wikipedia article, suffice to say that these systems are designed to autonomate the vehicle should the driver make a mistake, and all rely on accurate calibration of many sensors to perform correctly.

These sensors can be disrupted by small repairs such as a minor crunch or a repalcement windscreen; Absolute Alignment’s advanced alignment technology can be expanded to give you a new profit centre and we are developing a new Best Practice approach which we will publish in the near future. We have produced this White Paper on ADAS and its effect on wheel alignment which is reproduced here and for download.

With the latest developments in vehicle technology, the old fashioned way of working will have to go out of the window. It will be necessary to scan EVERY car when the customer wants you to “check the tracking” to see what Adaptive Cruise Control or Lane Changing Radar is fitted to it first of all. It’s not a case of “ask the customer”, it’s unlikely that they will know, they just have “cruise control” – if they even know that! If you bring the car’s suspension back to manufacturer specification, what impact will that have on the sensors and radar systems? Consider the following scenarios:

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems PDF

• Customer has a new windscreen fitted, affecting the ACC sensor. But the windscreen company re-calibrates the sensors to the existing set up without checking wheel alignment, which is faulty – and when you re-align the car the sensors are now inaccurate. You will need to re-calibrate the ACC once again, but what if the customer won’t pay for it? Make sure you have them sign to say it’s their decision – and it’s going to take a special kind of waiver!

• Even if there were no discrepancies in the ACC, how can you sign off on full wheel alignment without knowing that you’ve checked the sensors are in manufacturer specifications? The potential liability is frightening.

• On the positive side, VW now insist that before any ACC alignment work is undertaken, wheel alignment takes place. There is a huge business opportunity here, linking with windscreen companies, bodyshops and more to give an approved service

Absolute Alignment’s OEM-approved Bluetooth Pro system already carries the software that allows you to link-position the Adaptive Cruise Control calibration bar correctly to move on to the ACC sensors, and new into the product range is the hardware required to undertake the vehicle scan. Absolute Alignment will help you plan your new alignment area to make the best use of your space to offer this important and profitable new service.

A campaign of public awareness of the importance of “alignment” in all of its widest forms is vital, and modern alignment equipment helps workshops with that. Even the most basic professional machines now have a print-out facility showing before and after readings, so customers can be made aware of the problem and be reassured that it has been repaired. In addition, the same wireless app that lets technicians work without reference to the base unit means that repeater screens can be placed in customer areas so they can see what is being done. It’s time to move vehicle alignment away from being a dark art, and for it to be seen as an essential part of a car’s safety. Just as drivers don’t drive with worn tyres, the dangers and added costs of driving with poorly aligned cars should be highlighted. Instead of an expense to be avoided, a regular 4-wheel alignment check could be as essential as an MOT test in saving money and promoting road safety. Adaptive cruise control is just the start of vehicle automation, and the public needs to be made aware of the problems caused by poor workmanship.

We’re keen to encourage you to move into 4-wheel and full vehicle alignment and not just “do the tracking”. Comprehensive, certificated staff-training schemes from us will increase the skill level of your workshop technicians and give re-assurance to customers, just the kind of professionalism required to move the industry forwards.

Absolute Alignment is rolling out new products to meet this new market, if you want to be in the forefront of this market then call us and book a demo or discuss your options with our technical team call us on 01252 758413.

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