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OEE and OEM glass offers same ADAS functionality, says new research

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Research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has concluded that Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) glass does not impact the functionality of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors.

The research, conducted on behalf of Autoglass, involved tests to compare the performance of ADAS systems calibrated after the installation of OEM and OEE screens.

The performance of two ADAS systems (Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning) were tested under controlled conditions on a test track. After each windscreen change, the ADAS camera was calibrated by Autoglass to the manufacturer’s specification.

The tests concluded that the ADAS technology on a vehicle functions correctly when either OEM or the Autoglass aftermarket replacement windscreens (OEE) are used in the repair work.

No difference to ADAS functionality

Dr Chris Davies, head of technical superiority at Autoglass said: “The use of OEM or OEE glass makes no difference to ADAS functionality. This independent research refutes the claim by some manufacturers that their windscreens must be used to ensure the safety technology continues to work properly. This is purely a case of the manufacturers trying to push their own branded products.

“Glass used on vehicles is changing and every year we see more complexity, requiring immaculate quality to house the evolving technology which sits on the windscreen. It is important that the industry is able to adapt and be flexible and our use of OEE glass allows us to offer the best possible service to the customer without any compromise on quality or safety.”

Autoglass points out that these research findings do not apply to all aftermarket equivalents, only to the OEE glass used in its vehicle glass repair and replacement service.

Thatcham advice

In June this year, vehicle safety organisation Thatcham Research urged the automotive industry to collaborate to ensure the safe calibration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Thatcham has issued interim advice and is working with manufacturers, insurers, and windscreen repair and replacement companies on a full code of practice, due to be published later this year.

In February this year, Auto Windscreens held a conference discussing ADAS safety. At the event, Mazda’s parts and accessories sales manager, Dave Elphick, talked of only being able to guarantee ADAS systems if vehicles have the same parts as they did when they left the factory in Hiroshima.

Nick Goodess, Volkswagen Group’s paint and body technical trainer, also commented on the ‘element of risk’ potentially being increased if a vehicle is recalibrated on a driveway, rather than in precise workshop conditions.

He explained that an uneven surface could result in a 30 metre error in distance estimates, impacting the functionality of ADAS.

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