Nearly all new cars include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Along with this ADAS technology comes automotive sensors (radar, lidar, and camera) that require sensor calibration after windshield replacement, fender benders, and common repair situations. While many vehicles on the road do not have these systems, it’s only a matter of time. Meanwhile, the automotive service and repair industry will be evolving over the next few years to properly service each new ADAS-equipped vehicle.
With the increase in demand for ADAS recalibration, many shop owners and automotive professionals are looking to add another profit center to their business by performing calibrations in-house, in their existing repair facility. But, adding ADAS calibration services to your shop is not always a smooth process. Here are a few challenges that most shops face when implementing ADAS calibrations into their business:
Challenge #1: Site Viability and Space Constraints
One of the biggest hurdles auto shop owners face is limited space. Static ADAS calibrations require a very specific environment. Not just any open vehicle bay will do. To perform most calibrations, you need the following:
- a level floor or integrated alignment rack
- controlled lighting
- space measuring at least 30 feet x 50 feet
Space will be the limiting factor for many existing mechanical and collision repair shops that weren’t built to accommodate this type of static calibration. It’s estimated that 80% of collision repair facilities don’t have enough space for calibrations. This is a big reason why standalone calibration centers are the solution for many looking at getting started in an ADAS business.
Solution: When Your Facility Won’t Work for ADAS Calibrations…
Available (and appropriate) facility space is the biggest thing stopping auto shops from providing ADAS calibrations. Even if your current shop isn’t big enough to facilitate ADAS services, you need to find an ADAS solution for cars that come into your shop and need calibration. Here are a few things you could do:
- Contract with a mobile calibration service
- Outsource to a local third-party calibration center
- Remodel/add-on to your current facility
- Open a standalone calibration center
Challenge #2: ADAS Training and Ongoing Education
Techs trained to do ADAS calibrations are hard to come by. Only 1 in 4 auto shops offers calibration services in-house. If you are planning to offer calibration services, a reliable training source for your staff is important. Beyond that, you need plans to keep your staff apprised of future policy and procedural changes. Where will your ongoing education come from? This is just another obstacle when implementing ADAS.
Solution: Put a Plan Together for ADAS Training
When it comes to training your staff on ADAS calibrations, you can send your employees to manufacturer trainings, host in-house trainings, or contract with an outside provider. The best solution is usually a combination of all three. Here are a few things to consider when putting your ADAS training and education plan together:
- Host in-house trainings — This is a great way to get everyone on the same page and ensure that your staff is comfortable with the calibration process.
- Send employees to manufacturer trainings — These trainings can be expensive, but they will give your employees the most comprehensive overview of the specific systems they will be working on.
- Contract with an outside provider — This is a great option for ongoing education and keeping your staff up-to-date on changes in the industry. Plus, it frees up your time so you can focus on running your business.
Challenge #3: ADAS Calibration Equipment
Finding and purchasing the right ADAS calibration equipment and software tools for your business can be challenging. This takes lots of careful research. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all equipment ADAS calibration tool solution. Due to the complexity of OEM vehicle manufacturer standards, there is nothing close. Finding the most relevant equipment for your business is key but researching OEM and aftermarket options can be time-consuming and confusing.
Read More: Basic Guide to ADAS Calibration Equipment
Solution: Research Options and Ask for Advice
There is no easy answer when it comes to finding the right ADAS calibration equipment for your business. Here are a few suggestions to help with your ADAS calibration equipment selection:
- Research equipment providers and their products — The best solution is to do your research and find the equipment that will work best for the vehicles you will be working on. Compare equipment costs — not only the initial purchase price, but also the cost of ownership and maintenance.
- Reach out to your network — You aren’t the only one trying to navigate calibration equipment options. Reach out to your network and ask about the equipment they use and whether they are happy with it.
- Find a professional ADAS consultant — ADAS equipment is an investment that will set you back thousands of dollars. Getting expert advice from an industry consultant like Car ADAS Solutions can help you avoid buyers remorse.
Challenge #4: Management Software Tools
As a decision-maker, you know that the right management software can provide useful data that improves workflows. But, how do you choose the right one on the first try? When getting started in the ADAS business, you need software that will do several things, including the following:
- document calibration processes
- provide a customer portal with online scheduling
- gain useful, relevant reporting data for your business
Along with management software for your calibration center, you also need to select an estimating tool to use in your shop. An estimating tool helps techs identify when calibration is needed and helps document it.
Challenge #5: Auditing and Quality Control
To cover your liabilities, you need a detailed record of what you performed, including who, what, when, where, and why. You also need to have some form of quality control. What will you do to ensure that your techs are properly calibrating vehicles? What kind of checks will you put in place? These are all decisions that need to be made before you open shop.
Additional Resource: ADAS Calibration Workflow
Challenge #6: Ongoing ADAS Calibration Support
Whether you’re opening a calibration center or introducing ADAS calibration to your existing business, you need to think about support. When issues arise, how will your techs get help? You will need to have an in-house, on-call expert, affiliation with a third-party service, or a service membership. The ADAS calibration process requires very precise measurements on complicated systems, using complex tools. The need for ongoing tech support is critical. But, it’s also another task on your growing ADAS calibration implementation to-do list.
An ADAS Calibration Solution
You can let these 6 challenges get in your way — or you can get help. At Car ADAS Solutions, we help our customers set up and operate calibration centers and have solutions for all 6 of these issues, including:
- Site certification
- ADAS technician training
- ADAS equipment consulting
- Management software for ADAS calibrations
- QC and auditing software and procedures
- Ongoing ADAS calibration support solutions