National Windscreens will open its first Super Centre, based in Slough, in April.
Development of the new site has been driven primarily by the increasing use of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology in modern vehicles and growing demand for calibration of these systems when a windscreen is replaced.
The new centre will be used to trial various innovative offerings to assess future viability. These initiatives will be carefully monitored to help guide future development strategies at National Windscreens.
Mark Payne, regional managing director at National Windscreens, said: “We will be the first organisation in this sector to offer a bespoke fitting and calibration centre with customer hot desks plus eight fitting bays with dedicated ADAS hardware. One of the first initiatives to be trialled is fully electric courtesy vehicles.
“We chose Slough as the location for our first UK super centre as it is a densely populated area and in close proximity to the UK's largest airport.”
Currently, 75% of vehicle manufacturers require their vehicles to undergo a static calibration of the ADAS, which means workshop conditions are required for the process. The workshop conditions are needed to guarantee a flat surface for the vehicle and facilitate the use of vehicle specific calibration panels and lasers to align the ADAS cameras and vehicle wheels.
With a rapidly increasing number of vehicles featuring a combination of radars, LIDAR, sensors, and cameras that require calibration in order to ensure the safety systems are working as intended, the demand for a new style of ‘super’ fitting and calibration centre is already huge.
Traditionally, 80% of the jobs completed by National Windscreens’ technicians have been done through mobile fitting vans, with 20% done in the workshops. However, as the number of vehicles using ADAS technology increases, these percentages are predicted to change significantly with the majority being done in workshops.