By Jacques Harmse, National Franchise and Technical Manager at Autoboys
Driving a car in 2021 is an increasingly autonomous experience thanks to a wide array of hi-tech Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
ADAS comprises electronic systems that assist drivers in driving and parking functions, thereby enhancing vehicle safety. These systems use technology such as sensors and cameras to detect obstacles or risks to the vehicle, and can even respond to these dangers.
At its heart, ADAS is intended to help compensate for and, in some instances, even correct driver mistakes. Advances in this space are only set to accelerate as we march towards a world in which autonomous driving will become more common.
For example, the likes of the Future Market Insights ADAS Calibration Equipment Market for 2019 - 2029 report has previously noted that “the passenger vehicles segment is anticipated to dominate the ADAS calibration equipment market due to increasing penetration of ADAS in luxury and mid-sized cars.”
With ADAS therefore becoming a more standard feature in all cars, drivers and workshops will need to be aware that there are many nuances to this tech — especially when it comes to something as simple as a windscreen replacement.
When it comes to your safety it’s a non-negotiable that when replacing your windscreen, your car’s ADAS calibration is also done. If it’s not, some of the vehicle safety mechanisms simply won't work. In some countries, insurers have even been held liable for not providing calibrations on vehicles when they were necessary.
The reason for this is that even something as small as a 1mm error could result in an incorrect reading of up to several metres on features such as your distance control, thereby jeopardising your safety.
Windscreens contribute to a wide array of other ADAS functions that can be directly or indirectly linked to safety aspects such as adaptive cruise control, park distance control, blind spot indicators, lane departure control, and even traffic sign recognition.
Getting calibration right
When it comes to calibration, some windscreen ADAS systems require static calibration which is done while the car is stationary. Other systems require dynamic calibration which can only be done when a car is moving and certain tests are carried out. An experienced technician will know which type of calibration to implement.
What also helps are the right tools. Autoboys, for example, now has multiple sites manned by trained technicians that can calibrate vehicles’ ADAS using the highly advanced MAHLE TechPro Digital ADAS by Brain Bee and provide a full report following the calibration.
This device — which fits easily into a workshop and has both Digital ADAS Camera and Radar Camera Mots — can detect and help calibrate the ADAS system on most car-makes and brands.
Its features include motorised target height adjustment, adaptive systems for automatic compensation of vehicle positioning, measurement via high precision laser distance meters, minimised process times, an online update function, an ultralight radar calibration panel as well as a 65” full HD monitor.
Highly experienced technicians are on-site to carry out calibrations, and ultimately the Brain Bee device saves both time and money while providing the highest quality work.
At Autoboys, we believe that this technology will benefit the aftermarket by ensuring a higher standard of windscreen calibration in South Africa. And as this technology develops, we believe that a greater awareness of this vital technology will become ever-more crucial to our market.