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    Dealing With ADAS

    2020 is upon us and the ongoing question of what exactly is involved in repairing the growing number of vehicles equipped with ADAS? Late last year I had the opportunity to visit a number of collision repair businesses across the country and also met with insurers, OEMs and association representatives. The outcome that I observed was an awareness that the technology is here although a lot of uncertainty remains as to what needs to be done in providing complete and safe repairs.

    This issue has arisen by an unawareness of how the technology operates and works and a misconception that if there is a fault, a warning light will be displayed on the dash. Warning lights only indicate if a component is faulty, not if calibration is out and this is where the confusion has begun.

    This year I-CAR will add to its numerous new ADAS online awareness courses that explain in detail how to analyse and assess if a vehicle equipped with ADAS will require calibration. Topics will include when and why camera and radar is required, how blind spot and parking assist systems are impacted during even the most minor collisions and how wheel alignments will also affect ADAS.

    Many ADAS components are used in multiple systems throughout the vehicle and understanding the communication channels assists in making the correct damage analysis determinations. What is also critical in estimating and assessing damage with vehicles equipped with ADAS is the importance of both pre-scan and post-scan on damaged vehicles today.

    The FCAI recently release a statement regarding Position Statements - http://i-car.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Issuance-of-Position-Statements-for-Collision-Repair-Final-January2020.pdf where OEMs provide information regarding when scanning and calibration is required. By ignoring these important processes in repairing vehicles both the insurer and repairer are not delivering complete and safe repairs.

    ANCAP requirements for 2020 vehicles will require Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for any new vehicle to achieve a five-star safety rating. AEB is an element of ADAS that uses cameras, radars, sensors and is also linked to Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). These are in turn linked to other steering and drivetrain systems. This is where scanning provides information on what systems are linked to ADAS and therefore what needs to be calibrated in the event of removing and replacing components of these systems.

    The correct analysis of damage now requires a physical estimation and blueprint of the damage that provides measurements and procedures but also an electronic blueprint to ensure ADAS and other electronic features are repaired. It is now a case of fully understanding the features on a vehicle to see if it is ADAS equipped and then understanding what will be required to repair it completely.

    By completing the I-CAR online ADAS courses an estimator and insurance assessor will have the correct tools in understanding what is required and not making assumptions. In 2020, guesstimating is a thing of the past, correct estimating today requires analysis of structures, systems and an understanding of the correct methods of repair and a repair plan. With many businesses not equipped to perform calibrations, a dealership or calibration business will be required within the repair process to ensure the customers vehicle is returned with a complete, safe and quality repair.

    The changes that will be required by insurers, repairers and dealers will change the landscape of how repairs are processed, performed and proven to ensure safety is restored. A lack of knowledge will continue to undermine this industry and it is time to become professional and proficient when it comes to analysing damage, regardless of the perceived severity.

    As vehicles become safer with improved structures and advanced technologies, impact severity will reduce. However, as many of the ADAS components are located in vulnerable positions that are susceptible to damage and need to be removed to access damage, this is when calibration will be required. Even the most insignificant damage may need a system calibration and therefore additional time to complete the repair.

    The industry is again facing another challenge where the customer is in the middle, they require a repair performed quickly, the vehicle returned to a condition whereby all ADAS and safety features are restored. Unfortunately, there are still many on both sides of the fence who won’t, don’t or can’t understand why electronic system calibration and repairs are needed.

    Training is becoming an important tool in everyone’s toolbox today, whether you are a technician, an estimator or an assessor. The I-CAR Road to Gold pathway ensures “that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” By investing in the people within your business through training, a confidence and understanding will develop in ensuring vehicles are repaired correctly.

    You can register your interest in becoming a Gold Class business at  http://i-car.com.au/gold-class-collision/ and see the benefits of developing a business that understands not only the previous repair requirements but also comprehends the new ones.

    All I-CAR courses can be purchased through your Capricorn account.