Thatcham Research has issued a new voluntary code of practice to provide clear guidance on the recalibration of vital car safety technology during the replacement or refit of windscreens.
The ADAS Repair Group, led by Thatcham Research and including major companies such as National Windscreens, Autoglass and Nationwide Crash Repair Centres, have this week issued the ‘ADAS Glazing Code of Practice’ aimed at addressing concerns around the level of industry knowledge relating to the recalibration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology.
The code provides a recommended set of guidelines for replacing or refitting windscreens on vehicles fitted with ADAS sensors, while ensuring that the safety of the vehicle owner is not compromised in any way.
ADAS sensors and cameras are usually mounted inside the windscreen and provide a view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings to enable a range of assisted driving safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
Windscreen-mounted ADAS technology is currently fitted to approximately 6% of vehicles on the road, although some estimates predict this figure could be more like 40% by the year 2020.
However, without a robust process for recalibration, system performance could be adversely affected.
The step-by-step approach to recalibration covered by the new code includes the initial identification of different ADAS technologies; best practice for ensuring full and transparent communication with the customer; and a guide to calibration options, scheduling and pricing.
“ADAS systems have become an integral feature on cars, with motorists increasingly putting their trust in the additional layer of safety that this technology provides," said Andrew Miller, chief technology officer at Thatcham Research.
"It’s therefore of vital importance that drivers can retain that confidence following any sort of repair.
“This voluntary code of practice now provides the added assurance of a best-practice approach, to make certain that the car is returned to its owner with exactly the same level of safety protection as when it came in for repair and where for whatever reason that’s not possible, that the customer is provided with guidance on what they need to do to have the systems recalibrated”.
Neil Atherton, sales and marketing director at Autoglass, said: “It’s very clear that calibrating ADAS after a windscreen replacement is vital.
"ADAS systems can save lives, but may not work correctly unless maintained as intended. That’s why it’s so important that the industry has come together in the creation of this new code of practice and why Autoglass has been pivotal in its creation.
“The guidance is unequivocally clear and we hope it will further galvanise the aftermarket, fleet and insurance industries behind the new raft of safety technologies and their correct maintenance.
“As the global leaders in ADAS calibration we’re proud to have been adhering to the recommended protocol since we led the way for the industry launching our first ADAS calibration services in the UK back in October.
“However, there’s still much to do to educate consumers about how these safety systems work and should be used if their maximum lifesaving potential is to be realised. The industry must continue to rally together - today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”