In a room so packed that it literally had to be expanded twice, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) was the topic of the day—and the overriding topic at the conference.
“If AGRR companies are late to the table learning how to handle calibration of this complex technology, they will lose out to the dealership channel,” said Bill George of NSG Pilkington North America who led the “ADAS and Solutions to Recalibration Issues” session Wednesday morning at Auto Glass Week™ to a crowd of just under 1,000 people.
“All of the new model designs are starting to incorporate this technology,” said George to a packed conference room. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) deal with automakers on automatic braking shortened the cycle through which this change would normally happen. This is happening in an incredibly compressed time frame.”
AGRR companies first to the market offering calibration of the technology after a windshield replacement will set their path for success, he said.
“Early adopters will win,” he added. “And offering calibration is doable for AGRR companies.”
ADAS presents a big industry challenge. Each automaker is choosing a different path and incorporating different technology. It is not streamlined, George explained.
So what is ADAS? It is designed to keep the driver safer, according to George. It includes such technology as collision avoidance, surround view, lane-departure warning, cross traffic alert and park assist, along with other features.
The technology utilizes radar, lasers and cameras to feed information to the vehicle’s computer that allows the vehicle to react to potential hazards.
“One of the big pieces of this is the camera,” George said. “Some automakers incorporate a single camera and others have stereo cameras.”
“With emergency braking technology, the vehicle will understand what’s going on around you, understand your speed and stop the vehicle on your behalf,” he pointed out.
The relationship between the windshield and camera is important.
“The glass has a three-dimensional cross curvature. At the center line there is 12 to 13 mm of cross curve. If this isn’t exact, you are changing where camera is pointing,” George said. “You can end up out of specifications.”
The government and NHTSA have thrown their support behind this technology, which means the industry must prepare, he advised.
“When we started thinking about a solution, we knew this would be difficult,” George said. “But the glass has to be built right, the bracket for the camera has to be right, and it all has to be aligned properly for the technology to work properly.”
There are two types of calibration—static and dynamic. With dynamic, a technician can drive the vehicle a certain distance for a set period of time and it will self-calibrate, according to George. The vehicle will use the lines in the road, radar, lasers and camera to identify static objects in orientation to the vehicle.
“It will basically find out where the vehicle is in relation to where other things are,” George said. “You can’t do this in a blizzard or rain storm. You have to be running at certain speeds, different distances on certain roads. It takes two people to do it. One needs to run the calibration process and one needs to drive the car.”
Static calibration does not use static objects on the road to align itself.
“The car is sitting stationary and it needs to be level,” he explained. “You need to put some markers in front of it and focus the cameras and radars. I call this a fusion system—a combination of all these things working together.”
Currently, there is a mix of vehicles on the road that require static or dynamic calibration.
“My personal opinion is static will go up,” he noted. “You’ll be leaving the car out of alignment if you don’t realign. If you replace the windshield and don’t unplug the camera, the vehicle’s computer may think it’s aligned but it might not be. You don’t want to be the last person to have touched that vehicle if something like that happens and a crash happens.”
When it comes to glass, independent installers garner the business.
“What we don’t want is to have a channel shift,” said George. “If we can’t do the work where do you think this work will migrate to? The business could migrate to the dealership channel. We will lose if we are late to market. We cannot be late.”
NSG Pilkington North America has been working on a calibration solution for five or six years.
It’s a universal solution for all make and models,” he said.
ADAS was also the main topic of discussion at the AGSC AGRSS Standards Committee.
Stay tuned to www.glassBYTEs.com™ for the latest from Auto Glass Week, which continues through Friday.