Thatcham Research Releases Results of Calibration Study

Thatcham Research, a ‘not for profit’ insurer-funded research center, has released the results of its study on the need for calibrations if Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors or parts that are in proximity to ADAS sensors are included in a repair.

The research company released its findings earlier this month and found calibrations are needed in order to ensure all vehicle systems work properly.

“…calibration post repair must be completed to confirm sensors are functioning to the vehicle manufacturers’ specified tolerances,” according to the report.

The company claims there is a “lack of information on how to approach repairs with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control.” According to its report more than 10% of vehicles have smart technology that includes AEB, and it is becoming vital for automotive repair shops to have the same understanding when it comes to ADAS and calibrations.

“As ADAS continues its ever-increasing penetration into the car, the lack of a clear approach to the repair of ADAS-equipped vehicles is having an effect across the whole repair industry. For their own peace of mind, insurers and repairers need proof that they have taken all reasonable steps to reinstate the safety functions of a vehicle before returning it to the road,” said Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer.

The company’s stance on calibration was made clear when it stated “if ADAS sensors, or parts that are in proximity to ADAS sensors, are included in a repair specification, calibration post repair must be completed to confirm sensors are functioning to the vehicle manufacturers’ specified tolerances” within its report.

According to the company, it’s working to develop a code of practice and has started working with auto manufacturers, insurers, windshield repair and replacement companies, equipment providers and repairers.

Thatcham also highlighted things it believes every service provider should be doing in relation to ADAS repairs for its customers, which include:

  • Effectively look for ADAS sensors;
  • Research and seek guidance from relevant repair methods and calibration instructions;
  • Ensure all calibration activities are completed by qualified technicians;
  • Complete system calibration in accordance with the relevant repair method or instruction;
  • Be able to demonstrate that the calibration of all affected sensors has been completed and the results confirm functionality within the vehicle manufacturer’s specified tolerance; and
  • If vehicle manufacturer information states dynamic calibration, this should be completed and confirmed prior to vehicle release.

“The whole industry needs to work together to make sure ADAS repairs are safe and vehicles are returned to the road quickly and efficiently. Repairers must invest in training to ensure competent persons are reinstating ADAS safely. And Vehicle Manufacturers must provide ADAS fitment data and consistent advice around which repair scenarios will result in successful ADAS calibration,” said Billyeald

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