Repair Roundup July/August 2022

Fad or Future?

By Linda Rollinson

Is ADAS here to stay, or can you ignore it until it goes away?

There’s been a fair amount of discussion about integrating re-calibration technology into your business model, whether your company does repair-only or repair and replacement. Much has been written about the need for re-calibration (see the box below for more information) of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) cameras, but little about our industry’s response as it develops.

Those reactions tend to fall in one of three categories. They are:

1.Re-calibration is a game-changer. The number of cars equipped with ADAS cameras and technology will continue to grow. The ability to make sure customers’ cars are recalibrated will be crucial for successful AGRR businesses.

2.Re-calibration is a response to an interim auto technology that will undoubtedly change. It does not make sense to invest in such a volatile technology that may change. How we repair and replace windshields may change in response to new technology as well.

3.Re-calibration is a separate industry from the auto glass industry. I am not in that business, and I don’t need to worry about it.

Which of the three scenarios above most closely represents your view? Perhaps it would be helpful if I provided some market data about the growth of ADAS systems in vehicles. For example, a Bloomberg article (May 2020) expects 90% of new passenger vehicle sales in the United States to be equipped with these features, whether standard or as an option, by 2030.

Europe will see even more pronounced growth as Autopromotec estimates that 54% of all cars in Europe will be equipped with some type of ADAS system. This market share is four times higher than it was estimated it would be at the end of 2019, when 14% was predicted and higher than the 34% that had originally been predicted by 2025.

People generally keep their cars for approximately 8.4 years, and the average age of cars in the United States is 12.2 years. As these cars age, they will most likely be replaced by cars equipped with such systems.

Whether a function such as re-calibration belongs to a separate industry or not is a matter of opinion. While you may make a philosophical call, the amount of growth and dominance of such systems makes the financial call an easy one.

What is ADAS?

A March 31, 2021 article from Roland Berger entitled Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems: A Ubiquitous Technology for the Future of Vehicles analyzed 18 ADAS features either available or expected to be available by 2025. The study found that 85% of worldwide vehicles produced in 2025 will have some level of driving automation.

The study defined ADAS as one of the following:

L0: Basic. Includes front and rear collision warning indicators, blind spot detectors, and lane departure warnings. Many modern vehicles either come standard with these features or make them optional.

L1: Driver assistance. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, distance control, automatic speed limiting, interaction assistance, and collision avoidance.

L2: Partial automation. Including adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist in parallel, advanced cruise control, automatic emergency steering and braking, and fully automatic parking assist.

L3: Conditional automation. Encompasses highway piloting with automatic lane changes, full environmental monitoring, remote parking, and no human interaction from exit to exit.

L4: High automation. Fully automated driving in some situations without need for humans as fallback (aka “chauffeur mode”).

L5: Full automation. The study anticipated 86% of vehicles worldwide to have at least some features by 2025, 40% with L1 features, 36% with L2 features, and 10% with L3 or higher features.

Linda Rollinson is the chairperson of the National Windshield Repair Division Executive Committee of the Automotive Glass Safety Council™ as well as owner of Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Bay Inc. in New Port Richey, Fla.

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

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