If you’re in the business of providing ADAS calibration services, you know how important it is to have the correct calibration targets. But with targets varying by OEM, model, and even from model year, it can be challenging for ADAS service centers to choose which ones to invest in.
In this article, we’ll discuss what ADAS targets are, how they vary, and provide tips on choosing the right ones for your business. So, whether you’re starting in the ADAS calibration business or looking to expand the number of vehicles you can calibrate, here is everything you need to know about the best ADAS calibration targets.
ADAS Calibration Targets and Their Importance for ADAS Service Centers
ADAS targets provide a reference point for a vehicle’s ADAS sensors to aim for, during the highly technical static ADAS calibration process. Most targets look like black geometric shapes on a white background. These reference points crucially provide a way to calibrate sensors, “aiming” them in the right spot to collect the right data that ADAS systems need to provide alerts, braking, and steering at the right times. Static calibration must be performed in a specially-designed calibration bay, using specialty ADAS tools to evaluate and calibrate each component.
Now that you understand the role of ADAS targets, the next step is understanding the ADAS target types.
Types of ADAS Calibration Targets
Each automaker recommends specific targets for each individual make and model. They can even vary from one model year to the next. But, there are still a few general types of ADAS targets on the market that you should know about.
In general, there are three main types of ADAS calibration targets:
- Static camera targets- aiming targets used to aim cameras
- Radar targets-aiming targets or “reflectors” reflective (to radio waves) used to aim radars
- Lidar targets- targets that reflect light back at the sensor to aim lidar sensors
Now that you know what types of targets are available, next we will discuss a few things that should help with your decision-making process.
How to Choose ADAS Targets: Factors to Consider
Some factors that you’ll want to consider when setting your ADAS target priorities include the following:
- Vehicle types– confirm the make and models you service most often
- Types of calibrations offered and the space required- glass shops may have the space for front camera calibrations, but not blind spots or around view
- Target costs- some can be costly and needs to be factored into your decision
- Target availability– some targets may be challenging to find or only available from OEMs or specific suppliers.
- Shop configuration– space for adequate lighting, square footage, flooring, and power
Once you’ve considered all these factors, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which ADAS calibration targets you should invest in for your business.
FAQS on Choosing the Right ADAS Calibration Targets
While there are a few different types of ADAS calibration targets, they all serve the same purpose— to provide a reference point for ADAS sensors. This is why choosing the right ones for your business is critical. If the targets don’t match the exact OEM specifications, the calibration process won’t be accurate.
There are many different types of ADAS targets available because the sensors on each vehicle are slightly different — requiring different calibration targets. OEM procedures have specific targets, which are customized for each model and even model year.
While it may seem daunting to keep up with all the different ADAS calibration targets available, it’s important to remember that not all targets are required for every vehicle. Most vehicles only need a handful of different targets.
So how do you know which ADAS calibration targets to buy? Below we’ll discuss some FAQs to consider to make the best decision for your business.
How many calibration targets should you buy?
The number of calibration targets your center needs varies on the volume of ADAS-equipped vehicles you service. If you’re just starting, it’s vital to build up an inventory of targets so that you can accommodate various vehicles.
As your business grows, you can re-evaluate which targets are most popular and invest in more of those. For example, investing in more Ford-specific targets would make sense if you’re servicing many Ford vehicles.
Which ADAS targets should I set for my shop?
Do you service specific manufacturers? If you do, investing in that manufacturer’s calibration targets is essential. For example, you’ll need to have BMW-specific targets if you service BMWs.
If you want your shop to be able to take in all makes and models, you will need to think carefully about how much you are willing to invest. It is a potentially massive investment for most businesses, with an endless number of different targets that could be purchased. This is where you will need to set some priorities.
OEM, Aftermarket, or DIY ADAS Targets
While it can be tempting to DIY your ADAS equipment and procedures, calibration targets are one of the few areas where OEM specifications and professional manufacturing matter precisely.
Typically, OEM-sourced targets are less robust than aftermarket targets. Strong aftermarket targets are better quality than OEM in certain instances. DIY targets aren’t recommended because of too many variables in printing irregularities.
As always, performing extensive research on where you acquire your ADAS calibration targets is vital.
Target and Equipment Consulting for ADAS Service Centers
We hope this article has helped guide your decision on which ADAS calibration targets to purchase for your center. Remember, the most important aspect is to have the correct targets for the vehicles you service most often.
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We can help. Car ADAS Solutions has helped dozens of businesses implement and manage ADAS services through on-site and standalone calibration centers. Contact us to see what our turnkey solutions provide today.