Prob­lems fix­ing a mod­ern bro­ken wind­screen

South Waikato News - - Motoring -

New cam­era-based tech­nol­ogy has im­proved safety - but many are un­aware it re­quires spe­cial re­cal­i­bra­tion when wind­screens are re­paired.

New cam­era-based tech­nol­ogy has im­proved safety - but many are un­aware it re­quires spe­cial re­cal­i­bra­tion when wind­screens are re­paired.

As a re­sult spe­cial­ist au­to­mo­tive glass re­pairer, Smith & Smith, has rolled out a net­work of 13 spe­cialised fa­cil­i­ties across New Zealand.

ADAS is an in­dus­try term for the for­ward-fac­ing cam­era tech­nol­ogy that en­ables ac­tivesafety fea­tures like au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, lanede­par­ture warn­ing and steer­ing as­sis­tance on many mod­ern cars.

How­ever, what’s not widely known is that when a wind­screen is bro­ken on an Adas-equipped car, the sys­tem has to be re­cal­i­brated to en­sure it’s op­er­at­ing cor­rectly. This is be­cause glass re­place­ment in­volves re­mov­ing the cam­eras/ sen­sors and re­mount­ing them.

The same can ap­ply to wheel align­ment or even tyre re­place­ment, de­pend­ing on man­u­fac­turer rec­om­men­da­tions.

Re­cal­i­bra­tion work can also be done at of­fi­cial ser­vice cen­tres for spe­cific car brands. But hav­ing the same tech­nol­ogy means that sup­port in­dus­tries can be a one stop shop. How­ever, each brand/ model is dif­fer­ent and Smith & Smith says it can still only han­dle about 75 per cent of Adase­quipped new cars cur­rently on the mar­ket. ADAS tech­nol­ogy is by no means wide­spread in the Kiwi ve­hi­cle fleet... yet.

But it’ll be­come com­mon­place over the next few years as the ve­hi­cle fleet evolves. ADAS is now es­sen­tial for a top score in crash test­ing: 95 per cent of ve­hi­cles tested by Euron­cap in 2015 had some form of cam­er­abased safety tech fit­ted.

Smith & Smith says their roll out is the cul­mi­na­tion of a twoyear, multi-mil­lion-dol­lar devel­op­ment project around the world, via a part­ner­ship with Bosch, us­ing soft­ware spe­cific to NZ.

There are three pos­si­ble types of re­cal­i­bra­tion, de­pend­ing on the ve­hi­cle.

"Static" re­cal­i­bra­tion re­quires a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment with a lev­elled floor and is com­pleted us­ing spe­cial­ist tar­get boards.

A "dy­namic" re­cal­i­bra­tion in­volves driv­ing the ve­hi­cle with a hand-held de­vice plugged in to the di­ag­nos­tic port on the ve­hi­cle. Ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers are of­ten pre­scrip­tive over the types of roads that must be used, or the dis­tance and speed trav­elled, to al­low the sys­tem to con­firm it has viewed and recog­nised cer­tain road fea­tures.

Third is "com­bi­na­tion" re­cal­i­bra­tion, where both a static and a dy­namic test needs to be un­der­taken. Gen­er­ally, the spec­i­fi­ca­tion for which re­cal­i­bra­tion process is re­quired is con­sis­tent within a ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers’ range of mod­els: for ex­am­ple, Ford pre­scribes dy­namic re­cal­i­bra­tion for all its mod­els.

Wind­screen-mounted cam­eras/sen­sors like these need spe­cial cal­i­bra­tion when a glass is re­placed.

Post-re­pair, some ADAS tech­nol­ogy re­quires "dy­namic" cal­i­bra­tion out on the road.

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