ADAS Technology: Changing the Industry of Auto Glass Replacement

There was a day when a lone windshield replacement soldier could answer the call of duty with nothing but his van and a rack of windshields. 

That day has long passed into the sunset. 

Today’s auto glass replacement company must stay on the cutting edge of technology to stay competitive in this saturated market. That means a rack of glass and a van won’t cut it any longer. 

If you are new to the auto glass repair industry, or are the everyday consumer, ADAS recalibration may be a foreign term to you. As alien as the acronym may seem, ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) technology has everyday terrestrial impact.

What is ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems)?

ADAS technology goes hand-in-hand with a driver’s safety. 

ADAS is a type of technology found in newer vehicles and stands for advanced driver assistance systems. 

It includes things like “Adaptive Cruise Control” (ACC) to “Ultrasonic Park Assist” (UPA), and is changing how we drive. 

While these features keep us safer, when one of these crucial sensors breaks either from a fender-bender or otherwise, it’s expensive to repair.  (View an exhaustive list of features here)

What does ADAS have to do with windshields?

So, what does ADAS have to do with windshields and where does recalibration come in? 

Up to this point, when you hear the terms “ADAS calibration”, or “windshield recalibration” or other similar terms, the company providing the service is referring to recalibrating the camera that is attached to your windshield.

When a windshield insurance claim is filed (in Minnesota), satisfying the claim requires returning the vehicle to “pre-loss condition”. Thusly, when a windshield possessing a camera crucial to ADAS features is replaced, the camera mounted atop the windshield needs to be recalibrated as per manufacturers’ requirements.

Many auto glass companies are taking it upon themselves to purchase the equipment and train their staff to complete ADAS calibrations. With so many newer vehicles coming off the lot equipped with ADAS technology, windshield replacement is becoming synonymous with ADAS recalibration. You can’t have one without the other.

And now, to open another can of worms. 

ADAS sensors are more than just in the windshield camera

As you’ve probably guessed, ADAS features and sensors are more than just those working in the windshield camera. 

ADAS features may be at work all over your vehicle. 

Sensors or cameras in the side-view mirrors, front bumper, and back bumper work in harmony to provide “360 Surround View” in some models. What does “360 Surround View” have to do with windshield replacement? 

There are numerous conditions under which other features will need to be recalibrated (I will talk about this in a future blog post). Currently, the lion’s share of these other ADAS calibrations are completed at dealerships, but a day is on the horizon where auto glass companies will be recalibrating all ADAS features.

Companies looking to move into this still burgeoning service of ADAS recalibration have a hill to climb. The big name in auto glass (from an American standpoint) has been calibrating windshields for years, and several medium-sized companies have been cutting their teeth as well. 

For one man and a van, adding ADAS recalibration might prove quite difficult, for other small to medium-sized companies, smash that clutch and get into gear otherwise you will be left in the dust.

The waters remain hazy as far as recalibrating beyond the windshield is concerned. 

For states with glass coverage on insurance, what will the argument for the necessity of recalibrating sensors beyond where glass is involved? Would these be cash operations, or would these claims be covered in collision shops? 

The cutting edge may be an uncomfortable place to stand, but it’s where only a few auto glass companies dare to tread at this point in time.

One thing is for sure, ADAS is here to stay, now and into the increasingly autonomous future.