Calibration Insights May/June 2022

Data Detectives Unlock ADAS Mysteries

By Eric Newell

Anyone who operates an auto glass business is fully aware that automotive technology is accelerating at a mind-boggling pace—especially when it comes to ADAS safety systems, diagnostics, and recalibrations. Many glass shop owners indicate the technology is coming at them so fast and with dramatic differences by manufacturers that it is virtually impossible to keep their technicians up to speed when servicing 25 plus brands of vehicles.

According to industry data, the increasing complexity is not slowing down anytime soon. It will continue to outstrip the ability of any single person to have a comprehensive understanding of each vehicle brand. Add in the tremendous labor shortage across all industries globally, and we have the making for a perfect storm.

Supply and Demand

Demand from employers for technicians is outpacing supply by nearly five to one, according to TechForce Foundation. Many employees opted for retirement or early retirement, and the remaining service sector jobs are being lured away by higher-paying, less physically demanding, work-from-home jobs. As a result, service companies increase wages to retain fewer employees with less experience. This means you are no longer competing for talent just with other glass companies—you are competing against every industry for new talent.

Enter remote diagnostics and recalibration providers like ours. These companies can equip and service glass companies to manage these brand-specific, complex safety systems. Here’s how it works. If a glass technician requests service on a Toyota recalibration, the request goes directly to skilled Toyota experts. Given all the challenges we’ve discussed, it makes sense to pool these highly skilled, uniquely trained resources on behalf of the industry.

Shouldering these complex electronics services and recalibrations on glass technicians is not a reasonable expectation. It’s like asking your dentist to fix your heart condition. Some think the solution is simply purchasing a scan tool, and they’ll “figure it out” however there is no “EZ” or “Calibrate Now” buttons for diagnostics and recalibrations regardless of what tool manufacturers tell you. It’s essential to have brand expertise.

The two most important factors in successfully and safely servicing today’s
complex vehicles are tooling and brand experience. It comes down to a qualified technician using the right tool on a given vehicle. Remote diagnostic companies recruit brand specialists who have worked for decades performing diagnostics. They use their expertise to repair and recalibrate vehicles safely.

Understanding is Key

We believe the industry must move away from a mere plug-in-and-clear-the-codes mindset and gain a greater understanding of what is needed to repair today’s vehicles. These days, even something as simple as a nick on a fender could necessitate a deeper dive into what’s truly going on inside the vehicle’s modules. And this is where remote diagnostics shine because we can see the readings and measurements of live data—and we have access to all the manufacturer requirements, prerequisites, and service information.

So your reality in this new world with the extreme shortage affords you limited options. Leave the diagnostics and calibrations to remote experts that specialize in this field. You’ll be busy enough just recruiting and training entry-level techs.

Eric Newell is the executive vice president of business development for AirPro Diagnostics.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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