A Quick Guide to Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Calibrations

Smart car scan_ADAS

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are standard on more recent car models. These features include sensors, cameras, and other equipment that monitor the performance of your vehicle to provide you with real-time feedback. Many ADAS features rely on windshield mounting, so having that replaced can have a significant impact on the system. Here is a guide to help you better understand the calibration procedure. Let’s start with the fundamentals: 

Calibration—what’s that?

Removing the ADAS system is a necessary step when replacing a windshield. All monitoring equipment, such as cameras and sensors, is reconnected after the installation is finished. Calibration ensures that all parts are in their proper places and working properly.

What are the benefits of having my windshield calibrated?

Following the replacement of your windshield, it is critical to thoroughly test all ADAS equipment. Even minor placement errors, such as a camera that is slightly off-center, can result in inaccurate readings. If your alert system isn’t working properly or is giving you false warnings, you’re more likely to be in an accident.

What is the calibration procedure?

The calibration process involves a thorough examination of the ADAS components and their re-adjustment to factory standards. Static and dynamic calibration tests are the two main procedures. 

To perform a static calibration, a target is placed in front of your vehicle and is left there throughout the process. A closed road is used for dynamic recalibration, during which your car is driven while the ADAS is tested in a variety of scenarios. In this procedure, cameras and sensors undergo a dynamic series of motions.

How long does the procedure take?

It may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as a few hours to complete all of the necessary tests during calibration. In fact, many people opt to have it done at the same time they get a new windshield. However, not all repair centers provide this option. When it comes to replacing auto glass, it’s best to leave it to a trained professional. 

The Difficulties and Advantages of ADAS Calibration 

ADAS is one of the fastest-growing automotive technologies. This is because human error causes more than 80% of traffic accidents, and early warning can prevent the majority of them. Because of this, many national safety organizations are pushing for earlier and wider implementation of these systems in contemporary automobiles. Additionally, customers are learning the value and benefits of ADS and the added safety they provide. However, using this new technology in daily traffic necessitates more maintenance for automotive workshops.

Driver Assistance Systems—how do they work?

Cameras and other sensors work together in all modern driver assistance systems to identify obstacles in the road ahead. The vehicle will act accordingly based on this data and risk assessment. This can include audio-visual alerts and evasive actions if the driver doesn’t react. 

Most vehicles use multiple redundant observation systems to get a good view around them. One or more cameras monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings are the obvious starting point. However, no matter how detailed the image is, it is insufficient on its own. Because flat, two-dimensional images cannot be used to recognize objects by computers. Car manufacturers use cameras and radars or lidars to create a three-dimensional image. Some automakers protect their cars with ultrasonic sensors.

A computer analyzes sensor data and renders a scene. A powerful computer is needed to do this in real-time and reliably. This process relies on sophisticated data analysis software. The computer interacts with other vehicle systems and makes decisions based on data. The dashboard warning is sometimes the simplest solution. Some systems can even work in tandem with the car’s brakes and steering to prevent collisions if the driver does not respond in time.

When and why do ADAS systems need to be calibrated?

Driver assistance systems don’t wear, so they don’t need maintenance like other car parts. Thus, these systems only require regular software updates. The system must be recalibrated if cameras or radars are replaced or removed during other repairs. This requirement applies even if any surrounding components are replaced or removed during repair. A common example of this is when a windshield is replaced and the forward-facing cameras mounted behind it no longer function properly. 

The operation of adaptive cruise control and other advanced driver assistance systems necessitates periodic calibration. As mentioned, they create a car’s surroundings using overlapping cameras and sensor readings. If components are misaligned, the image can be blurry. Due to impaired vision, some features may not work properly or cause accidents. The driver assistance system must be calibrated to work properly. Here, we readjust and re-align the focus of the cameras and sensors so that they all work in tandem. As a result, the driver’s view in front of and around the car is restored to its original state, and the system’s components function as intended. 

How is DAS calibrated?

Depending on the vehicle, ADAS calibration tools can be simple or complex. The calibration process begins with accurate service information for the vehicle. After that, a diagnostic tool that can calibrate is needed. It is critical to understand that the diagnostic tool is only sending a function call to the ADAS module. The calibration procedure is included in the module software. The final thing to know is how the calibration is done. For some manufacturers, all it took to calibrate the vehicle was a diagnostic tool and a test drive under controlled conditions. This is referred to as dynamic calibration. The vast majority of factories, however, use static calibration, which involves a set of targets. These targets should have the proper dimensions, geometry, and brightness levels.

Proper training plays a crucial role here, just as it does with any other cutting-edge technology. To paraphrase an old adage, “a tool is only as good as the hands that wield it,” ADAS calibration is only as accurate as the technician using it. Technicians need to know both how the system works and how to use the equipment in order to do their jobs well. 
If you need a windshield replacement calibration, contact Auto Glass Experts in El Paso, Texas, or Alamogordo, New Mexico. They have been in business since 1992 and have over 175 years of combined experience replacing windshields and restoring all ADAS equipment to OEM standards. They also provide warranties on all of their services for your convenience. For more information or to book an appointment, call 915-595-4444.