Repair Roundup November/December 2021

The ADAS Factor

By Linda Rollinson

Can you repair a windshield in a vehicle with ADAS? And if so, where can repairs safely be done? Is calibration necessary?

I will save you some time if you are looking for a fast answer. The short answer is: “We don’t really know yet.” I will explain.

The Calibration Facts

Let’s start with what we do know–several different advanced systems help drivers avoid accidents and drive safely. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can be active or passive. They can do things as fundamental as alerting you if someone is moving into your lane or as advanced as stopping your car automatically to avoid an accident. The ADAS technology we are discussing here uses a camera to “see” hazards and communicate them to the car’s operating systems.

Talk about a finely-tuned camera lens. The camera must communicate with the road, road signs, the driver, and more. It must also precisely measure distances and conditions. That’s why any time there is a change in the lens, namely, where it is, what other surfaces it looks through, etc., it must be recalibrated. Even something as basic as outfitting a car with new tires requires recalibration. Why? Because the camera’s distance from the
ground may have changed —ever so slightly—with the use of new tires. A new piece of glass is a new second lens, which is one reason why recalibration is necessary after glass replacement. Another reason being that the camera placement is different when a windshield is replaced.

What About Repairs?

But what about a windshield glass that is being repaired rather than replaced? There may be some areas of the windshield that can be repaired without requiring recalibration. But what about locations in the camera’s sweep? I submit that any change in the substances that light passes through to get to the camera will require calibration. If the break itself is in the camera’s sweep, then the camera most likely will not work precisely without
calibration.

More study is needed to assess the effect of both breaks and repairs on the ADAS camera systems. Watch for the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard-002 (ROLAGS 2) currently being developed to address these conditions. Membership in this ANSI committee is open to all, and participants are most welcome. If you would like to become a member, please email kbimber@glass.com.

I might know what you are thinking. You believe that any calibration
requirement for repair will reduce the number of repairs and move
possible customers toward replacement instead. I don’t think so. First of all, for breaks in non-camera areas, the advantages of repair remain strong. It’s quicker, cheaper, greener, and doesn’t require the removal or disposal of glass.

There’s another current advantage to windshield repair. You can get it right now. Many of us are waiting weeks, even months, for certain pieces of auto glass. There’s no such wait with repair as the glass remains in place.

It will be interesting to see how the ROLAGS 002 Standard develops and the science that goes into creating it. One thing is for sure, as with all ANSI/AGSC Standards, it will put safety first.

Linda Rollinson is the chairperson of the National Windshield Repair Division (NWRD) of the Auto Glass Safety Council. superiorautoglass@tampabay.rr.com

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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