Windshield Calibration: What is Windshield-Mounted Camera Recalibration?

Windshield Calibration

What is windshield calibration? Windshield calibration actually refers to the recalibration of windshield-mounted camera(s). It’s a process that electronically aims the windshield camera sensor and ensures the accuracy of the driver assistance systems in your vehicle. This includes ADAS systems like lane departure warning, collision avoidance braking, adaptive cruise control, and more. In this article, we will discuss what windshield calibration is and why it is vital to maintain the safety of your car. 

ADAS Windshield Background Info

To better understand why windshield calibration is vital, it’s best to start with ADAS. If you’ve seen a car commercial in the past few years, you’ve probably heard of ADAS features without knowing it. Features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning, for example, are a staple of automaker ads. What exactly does this acronym mean and what does it entail? Here are the basics.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

ADAS is an acronym that stands for Advanced Driver Assistance System(s). This means ADAS is the term to designate automotive safety systems that employ cutting-edge technology like cameras and other sensors to help prevent an accident. These ADAS sensors provide warnings and even aid the driver in braking or steering to avoid hazardous circumstances for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. 

These technologies assist drivers in recognizing potential risks on the road so they can take appropriate actions. These systems consist of a variety of components that include cameras, radar, lasers, and other devices. 

ADAS Cameras 

Driver assistance systems using camera-based sensors assist the driver in being more attentive to their surroundings. Forward sensing ADAS cameras are mounted to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield, near where the rearview mirror is attached. Most automakers use one forward camera, but some use two, like Subaru’s EyeSight system. Cameras detect lane markings, road signs, and other relevant street information to detect hazardous situations ahead of time. The software then analyzes these images and determines what action is needed.  

What is windshield calibration? 

At this point, you might be wondering … what does it mean to calibrate a windshield?

Calibrating a windshield is actually the calibration of your ADAS-equipped vehicle’s camera that is mounted on or near the windshield. It’s not the glass itself that needs to be calibrated, it’s the camera.

Why does a windshield need calibration?

Once moved out of their initial position, ADAS cameras can’t re-calibrate themselves. That’s why professional calibration is necessary after windshield replacement and several other common service situations. Professional ADAS calibration ensures your windshield ADAS cameras are properly in place, with the right aim. This enables various ADAS safety systems in your car to work properly. This includes driver assistance functions like lane departure warning, collision avoidance braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and much more.  

Overall, the ADAS calibration procedure adjusts and tests all the cameras and sensors attached to the windshield to ensure they function properly. The vehicle’s ADAS features may not operate correctly if they are not calibrated, leading to an accident. 

How do you calibrate a windshield?

Windshield-mounted cameras require professional calibration with trained technicians using specialized tools in a controlled environment. Depending on your vehicle, calibrations can be static, dynamic, or both.  

Static Windshield Camera Calibration 

Static calibration is a process that adjusts the hard-coded values of specific components in your vehicle’s windshield-mounted camera. For example, this ensures cameras are at the correct height and makes sure to adjust to work correctly with other camera sensors on your car. 

This phase of ADAS calibration requires specialized ADAS equipment and a variety of calibration targets (specific to OEM requirements) that the sensors must recognize to calibrate properly. To do so, the car must be at the correct distance from the targets and the proper height, among other things. 

There are multiple methods for setting up ADAS tools, but this step must be done correctly every time to guarantee the most precise outcome. 

Dynamic Windshield Camera Calibration 

Dynamic calibration, or on-road calibration, since the bulk of the work takes place when driving. It begins in the shop with a diagnostic tool to identify which ADAS features are not in use, just like static calibration. 

Then, the technician drives on roads with traffic and performs specific maneuvers. As a result, dynamic calibration ensures all your car’s safety features operate correctly when they are needed the most.

When is windshield calibration necessary? 

In vehicles with forward-facing cameras, calibration is necessary whenever something happens to move a camera out of its original position. The most common vehicle repair requiring a recalibration of the windshield camera is a windshield replacement; however, many manufacturers now require a windshield camera recalibration after any serious accident or a wheel alignment.  

When does my windshield need to be calibrated?

Several common circumstances call for windshield (ADAS) recalibration, including the following:  

  • Windshield replacement 
  • Wheel realignment  
  • Suspension changes 
  • Camera replacement or removal 

Car ADAS Calibration Solutions 

At Car ADAS Solutions, we help our customers open ADAS calibration centers. For a custom calibration solution tailored to your business needs, trust the ADAS calibration experts at Car ADAS. We provide calibration solutions, including site certification, business planning, training, implementation, and continuous support.  

Learn about owning a calibration center.  

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