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Thursday, 05 September 2019 17:01

ADAS Calibrations Latest Challenge Facing Collision Repairers

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Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said calibration of some systems on the 2017 Ford F-150 requires a ten-minute drive at 40 mph after many repairs, including those involving a windshield replacement, suspension repair or alignment, or front airbag deployment. Montana shop owner Matthew McDonnell said calibration of some systems on the 2017 Ford F-150 requires a ten-minute drive at 40 mph after many repairs, including those involving a windshield replacement, suspension repair or alignment, or front airbag deployment. John Yoswick

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A presentation at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in, held in Indianapolis, highlighted some of the complexities the collision repair industry is facing in both “static” and “dynamic” calibrations of some advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

 

Jack Rozint of Mitchell International and chairman of CIC’s “Emerging Technologies Committee,” said dynamic calibrations can require test driving the vehicle while connected to either an OEM scan tool or a specialized aftermarket scan tool.

 

“Basically, only [an OEM tool or] the very best of the aftermarket scan tools are capable of doing these routines,” Rozint said.

 

The calibrations may require that the vehicle maintains a certain speed for a set period. Road requirements can include a clear side line and center line on a straight road in the daylight. To meet these requirements, Rozint said, some shops in urban areas are conducting dynamic calibrations at dawn when there are fewer traffic congestions.

 

“And if it’s snowing or foggy or raining, or if there’s been sand placed on the road that’s covering or obscuring the lines, it won’t work,” Rozint said. “If you get stopped half-way through, in some cases, depending on the vehicle and the scan tool, you might have to start all over again.”

 

Matthew McDonnell, a member of the CIC committee and a Montana shop owner, said such calibration test drives are becoming more common as more vehicles have lane-departure warnings and other such systems. He pointed to the requirements for the 2017 Ford F-150, which call for a ten-minute drive at 40 mph after any repair involving a windshield replacement, change in tire size, suspension repair or alignment, front airbag deployment or interior mirror replacement.

 

While static calibrations done in the shop rather than as part of a test drive may seem simpler, Rozint said they can require specialized targets and equipment. For example, the ultrasonic blind spot radar in some newer Honda, Toyota and Kia vehicles requires the use of a metal reflector cone, laser and a goniometer jig, a device that measures angles. Some of the newest Audis, he said, include 360-degree cameras and Doppler devices to monitor what’s going on around the entire vehicle in real-time.


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