The Best Body Shops' Tips: Are ADAS Systems Here to Stay? American Honda Showcases Current Systems

The Best Body Shops' Tips: Are ADAS Systems Here to Stay? American Honda Showcases Current Systems

Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information and Collision Mitigation Braking Systems are just a few of the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) in vehicles today.

According to Scott Kaboos, the assistant manager of collision marketing for American Honda Motor Co., not only will these systems prevent accidents in the future, but there may also be fewer claims on vehicles that are equipped with these systems.

Kaboos discussed “Honda ADAS Systems: Today and Tomorrow” during a recent Guild 21 podcast. Presentations are sponsored by Verifacts Automotive.

“Love them or hate them, ADAS Systems are probably here to stay,” said Kaboos. “The question is: Are they going to be effective?”

During his Guild 21 presentation, Kaboos shared information from a study compiled by a major insurance company partner regarding 26,039 Honda Civic vehicles from the 2016 model year.

“We compared how many vehicles were drivable vs. non-drivable after an accident,” he said. “We noticed that with an ADAS system, the number of vehicles that were non-drivable after an accident decreased 31.5 percent. A lot more people drove home with their ADAS-equipped Civics than they did with the ones without ADAS.”

They also studied how ADAS affects frequency---the percentage of time the vehicles were involved in an accident.

“We found that the vehicles equipped with ADAS systems had a frequency rate of 12 percent. Those without ADAS had a frequency of 17 percent,” said Kaboos. “That’s a decrease of nearly 30 percent in frequency, which means drivers are 30 percent less likely to get into a collision at all with ADAS systems vs. without them.”

Then they looked at severity. The average claim for a 2016 Civic vehicle without ADAS was $3,002. The average with ADAS was $2,769.

“It was a surprise when we found out that the ADAS-equipped vehicles were less expensive to fix as a whole by about 7 percent,” said Kaboos. “Our assumption is that it is because they may have needed to do some calibration and extra work, but the damage didn’t go as deep into the car.”

Kaboos used the example of repairers needing to aim a radar rather than replace a rail.

As part of Honda’s 2030 vision, Kaboos said the OEM’s goal is to have a zero-collision society at some point in the future. An important aspect of this is incorporating ADAS technology.

The ADAS systems on Honda and Acura vehicles are called Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch. The OEM’s use of ADAS dates back to 2011 when the company used its first system on a Honda Odyssey. Up until 2016, ADAS systems were offered a la carte. Over the last two years, consumers have had the opportunity to order Honda Sensing and AcuraWatch as a full suite of products.

With the release of the 2018 Accord, Honda introduced its first mass production vehicle to include the Honda Sensing Suite as standard equipment on all trim levels, regardless of it being the base model or the touring edition.

“I do believe that’s probably going to continue as we release new models; we are going to see this become standard,” said Kaboos. “By 2022, we want to have our entire fleet equipped with this equipment.”

Levels of Automation

The Society of Automotive Engineers explains the five different levels of automation ranging from level 0 to 1---which includes some driver assist capabilities---to level 5, where the vehicle will be fully autonomous and have no steering wheel. Currently, the majority of Honda vehicles utilize level 1.

Three categories of level 1 ADAS include:

1. Driver Information Systems: Blind Spot Information, Lane Watch and Cross Traffic Monitor

2. Preventative Measure Systems: Adaptive Cruise Control, ACC with Low Speed Follow, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist System

3. Avoidance Assistance Systems: Collision Mitigation Braking Systems and Road Departure Mitigation

The 2018 Acura RLX will be released in November and include a new ADAS feature---Traffic Jam Assist.

“This is the first time Honda has equipped a vehicle with level 2 autonomous features,” said Kaboos. “This car will go from a complete stop and then accelerate and follow the car in front of it at a safe distance and keep you in the lane without any input from the driver.”

Honda is targeting 2025 for the introduction of vehicles with level 4 automation, which Kaboos said is nearly autonomous but includes a steering wheel and can be operated manually.

Kaboos discussed four ADAS systems and when it is necessary to calibrate them:

Collision Mitigating Braking System

The Collision Mitigating Braking System (CMBS) on the 2018 Accord uses radar, a camera, control modules and an electric brake booster.

“As you approach a vehicle in front of you, CMBS turns a dash light on and says, ‘Brake,’ he said.

Shortly after that, it will send a buzzer. As a driver moves closer to the vehicle, it will start putting on braking force.

“It helps keep you from rear-ending the car in front of you and uses what is called ‘millimeter wave radar,’” said Kaboos.

When to calibrate:

• If the radar is removed, installed or replaced
• If the ACC warning light is illuminated
• After collision damage to front end
• After structural damage anywhere on the vehicle
• After SRS deployment

Other considerations:

• Do not repair bumper cover near radar
• May require “special” grill or emblem
• Wheel alignment should be checked/adjusted prior to calibration
• Aiming should be performed after wheel alignment if needed
• Requires check of mounting position before aiming after a collision, especially with front end

Kaboos said one of the big concerns is how much space is required to aim the millimeter wave radar.

“Targets have to be set up at a predetermined distance from the vehicle and the area has to be clean, clear and flat,” he explained. It is necessary to have a level ground area with 33 feet in front of the car and 16 feet on either side.

Kaboos asked Guild 21 attendees how many have a space available large enough to complete a millimeter wave radar. About 68 percent answered they do not have sufficient space requirements, and the remainder said they do.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses many of the same systems as the millimeter wave radar, the multi-purpose camera and other modules.

“With ACC, drivers can set cruise control and follow the car in front of you,” explained Kaboos.

When to calibrate:

• If camera unit is removed/installed or replaced
• If windshield is removed/installed or replaced
• If LKAS or ACC lamps indicate a potential problem
• If DTCs indicate a problem with system
• If vehicle is involved in a collision
• If SRS is deployed

Other considerations:

• Only use OEM glass for replacement in vehicles equipped with multi-purpose cameras
• Should be performed after wheel alignment if needed

Blind Spot Information

The Blind Spot Information (BSI) system uses a pair of radars on either side of the quarter panel mounted behind the bumper cover of the vehicle. It turns a light on in the mirror when someone is in the driver’s blind spot. Kaboos said the informative system is meant to detect vehicles that move at a speed relatively close to the driver’s speed and cannot detect things on the side of the road such as signs and trees.

When to calibrate:

• After removing/installing or replacing a BSI radar unit
• After repairing or replacing body panels where BSI radar unit mounts
• If BSI warning light is illuminated

Other considerations:

• Requires wheel alignment check/adjustment prior to calibration
• Do not repair bumper cover near BSI radar units

The BSI camera aiming requires about 13 feet to the side of each corner of the rear bumper; therefore, Kaboos said repairers need a 36-foot-wide space to work.

Lane Watch System

The Lane Watch System (LWS) is a camera that is placed in the right-hand mirror. When the right-hand turn signal is on, it allows the navigation unit to show drivers what is being seen by the camera. It can also be turned on manually.

“A normal person has about 20 degrees of visibility in a rear-view mirror and with the LWS, this increases to 80 degrees,” said Kaboos.

When to calibrate:

• LaneWatch camera is removed/installed or replaced
• Passenger side rear view mirror is removed/installed or replaced
• Passenger side rear view mirror cover is removed/installed or replaced
• Passenger side door position is adjusted
• Passenger side door is removed/installed or replaced

In terms of space requirements, LWS requires much less than other ADAS systems. Kaboos said to expect about 21.3 feet of depth off the left front of the car and 11.5 feet in width.

The tools needed for these systems can be purchased directly from Honda dealers.

“Any competent technician can probably perform these calibrations and have pretty good success,” said Kaboos. Guild 21 attendees were asked how many had already done a calibration on an ADAS system; only 12 percent said they had in the field.

Those who were part of the call were also asked if they plan to embrace calibrations in the near future. About 70 percent said they are ready to do it right now or in the near future; 23 percent said they are not quite ready but will probably do it in the next two to three years; and the remaining 7 percent said they were never going to do it.

Kaboos said recalibrations can be a new income stream for shops.

“Shops performing their own ADAS calibration will most likely have tighter control of cycle time on this part of the repair process,” said Kaboos. “It also allows you to take control of the safety features of cars. You’ll know that the repair is taken care of and the vehicle is going to perform the same way that it did prior to the accident.”

Stacey Phillips Ronak

Stacey Phillips Ronak is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry and a regular columnist for Autobody News based in Southern California.

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