ADAS Tools

What is ADAS?

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, is a group of assist functions designed to improve driver safety and reduce the severity and number of traffic accidents.

diagnostic truck tools

Why ADAS?

ADAS’s group of assist functions are designed to improve driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety by reducing both the severity and overall number of motor vehicle accidents. ADAS can warn drivers of potential dangers, intervene to help the driver remain in control in order to prevent an accident, and, if necessary, reduce the severity of an accident if it can’t be avoided.

In short, ADAS compensates for our mistakes, be the inattentiveness, erroneous control inputs or, up to a point, downright stupidity. As uncomfortable as humans are with admitting it, we’re not perfect – but ADAS is here to help.

ADAS are becoming much more common with new models. They are no longer limited to luxury vehicles. Some systems are becoming standard on all vehicle makes.

In ADAS technology is an opportunity for your shop to not only improve driver safety but also increase the profits of your business and keep you liability-free by properly calibrating after repairs.

NHTSA States that by model year 2022, all new vehicle manufacturers will be mandated to include AEB or automotive emergency breaking on all new vehicles.

Below are common myths and misconceptions about ADAS

MYTH:
IF I OUTSOURCE MY SHOP’S ADAS CALIBRATIONS I WILL NOT BE LIABLE.

FALSE.

If you aren’t performing ADAS re-calibration for any reason, you are inviting Civil and potentially Criminal penalties since your industry has direct knowledge the recalibration is absolutely necessary after even the most minor repair or service.

diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
If I DON’T USE OE EQUIPMENT TO PERFORM ADAS CALIBRATIONS I WILL BE LIABLE.

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

In fact, it is illegal for an OE to tell an aftermarket business that they must use only OE products. The Magnuson-Moss Act was originally intended to address replacement parts, but it has been argued in court that this applies to tools and equipment as well.

OE service information was written for the new vehicle dealership, not for aftermarket repair shops. The OEs do make their service information available to the aftermarket, but they don’t rewrite it for the aftermarket.

MYTH:
IF THERE ARE NO DTCS PRESENT CALIBRATIONS ARE NOT NEEDED.

FALSE.

Generally, DTCs are only set for component failures, connection issues, network communication issues or failed calibrations. Not for calibration accuracy issues.

diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
IT REQUIRES AN A LEVEL TECHNICIAN TO PERFORM ADAS CALIBRATIONS

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

Performing an ADAS calibration is easy, nearly anyone can do it. BUT, when things go wrong and diagnostics or programming are required, a more experienced technician may need to step in.

MYTH:
IF THERE ARE NO WARNING LIGHTS OR MESSAGES ON THE DASH I DO NOT NEED TO CALIBRATE.

FALSE.

Any of the repairs or adjustments to the vehicle require recalibration for an ADAS system or multiple systems depending on type.

diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
ADAS CALIBRATIONS ARE ALL GOING DYNAMIC.

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

In fact, the opposite is true. Static Calibrations are more accurate than dynamic and are not subject to the elements of road conditions and weather.

MYTH:
THE SCAN TOOL SAYS THE CALIBRATION COMPLETED, SO IT MUST BE ACCURATE.

FALSE.

Calibration complete, does not mean the calibration is accurate. It simply means the camera recognized something it believes to be a target. Only after an extensive test drive of all available ADAS systems can we determine the calibration was accurate.

On some vehicles, the camera can display the calibration results, which can help determine calibration accuracy. In this case the vehicle preconditioning, calibration environment and target placement were spot on.

diagnostic truck tools
diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
ADAS CALIBRATIONIS A FAD AND WON’T LAST LONG.

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT) are currently further defining future ADAS requirements for standardization of all new US vehicles.

MYTH:
IF I DON’T UNPLUG THE CAMERA OR RADAR SENSOR, I DON’T NEED TO CALIBRATE.

FALSE.

The OEMs clearly state, if the camera is removed from its bracket and reinstalled, the camera must be calibrated.

Removing the camera from its bracket and letting the camera hang while the windshield is replaced does not mean the calibration is still OK. The position of the camera on the windshield has changed and even if the LDW system still appears to function, the AEB system may be severely limited.

diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
ALL VEHICLES WILL SOON BE SELF CALIBRATING AND EQUIPMENT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY.

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

The OEMs are aggressively moving ADAS calibrations to static or static and dynamic and eliminating dynamic only calibrations. The end result is an absolute need for ADAS calibration equipment for the foreseeable future.

MYTH:
CUSTOMERS CAN SIGN A WAIVER TO DECLINE ADAS CALIBRATIONS AND RELIEVE THE SHOP OF ALL RESPONSIBILITY.

FALSE.

The same liability laws that require that calibrations are performed in commonly known circumstances apply in all cases and vehicle owner waivers do not necessarily result in relief of liability for the service provider.

diagnostic truck tools

MYTH:
RIDE HEIGHT, TIRE SIZE AND WHEEL ALIGNMENT DO NO AFFECT ADAS SYSTEM; THEY WILL AUTOMATICALLY COMPENSATE FOR THESE CHANGES.

diagnostic truck tools

FALSE.

Ride height and tire size change the field of view of the forward-facing camera and radar. When compared to OE specifications if the vehicle is:

  • raised higher than spec, the camera or radar may be unable to see objects close
    to the vehicle
  • lowered than spec the camera and radar may not be able to see long distances

Wheel alignment, especially changes to thrust angle, change the direction the vehicle is driving. Forward-facing cameras and radar sensors are aligned to vehicle centerline. If the centerline and thrust angle no longer match, the camera and/or radar will no longer be accurate.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

diagnostic scan tools
The answer to this question is wide ranging, it could be a few minutes to over an hour depending on the vehicle and the equipment being used

The most time-consuming portion of static calibration is target set up. If you have a calibration system designed to accurately place your target in less time, that could be a plus.

The most time-consuming portion of a dynamic calibration is meeting the OE driving requirements. Constant vehicle speed, road conditions, available targets, etc.

  • Not making accurate measurements
  • Not following the vehicle pre-conditioning instructions, i.e. full gas tank, tire pressure, weight load, etc.
  • Improper lighting
  • Background clutter
  • Not maintaining battery voltage
  • Not updating your scan tool

Failure to recognize the target due to:

  • Not following the scan tool instructions exactly
  • Improper lighting
  • Background clutter
  • Improper measurements
  • Not following the vehicle pre-conditioning instructions. Full gas tank, tire pressure, load, etc.

Generally, a neutral tone works best. Off-white, tan and light gray work well.

  • Avoid:
  • Bright colors
  • Busy patterns
  • Checkerboard patterns
  • Black
  • Pure white

There are several ways to determine this:

  • Service information
  • Scan tool instructions
  • Autel MaxiSysADAS.com website

ADAS screen capture from calibration settings