Depending on what expert you’re listening to, self-driving cars are 5-15 years away from becoming a way of life. Today’s ever-evolving Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) improve safety and drivability and feature things like lane-keep assist, proximity detection, collision mitigation, blind-spot detection, smart fuel consumption, adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, for example. While they can do a whole lot to help you to avoid crashes, they also present new challenges for us at Mike’s Auto Body.
This life-changing technology is a major plus for consumers, but it can also create problems for the drivers of today’s high-tech vehicles. So, here are some answers that can hopefully help you to learn more about ADAS.
As part of its ongoing training programs, the Inter-Industry Conference on Automotive Collision Repair (I-CAR) shared some consumer-oriented insights about ADAS systems.
An important part of being able to diagnose any problem with ADAS is understanding precisely how the system works. Knowing what’s happening within the system will enable you to properly diagnose why the system might be failing. Good diagnostics will prevent the replacement of parts unnecessarily and vice versa.
The video cameras and sensors (inputs) that communicate with ADAS are customarily located on almost all sides of the car, SUV or truck. Many of the inputs have a wide range of different functions, and communicate with more than one ADAS. This means that if one or more of the inputs fails, it might influence more than one aspect of ADAS, including some drivability functions, like braking and steering.
These ADAS systems aren’t standalone and often sensors, cameras and controls serve multiple purposes within the vehicle. For example, wheel speed sensors are often used by the ABS system to detect whenever a wheel is currently locking up; the traction control system to detect when a wheel slips; the automatic braking system to determine how long it will take to strike an object, and adaptive cruise control to determine the speed of surrounding automobiles.
Since ADAS is fairly new, there is no established industry-wide communications standard. To get the entire picture of what’s going on, the diagnostics techs must use factory scan tools that can read every code. By checking for errors, hidden damage can be identified fast, reducing the time it requires to diagnose and fix safety systems. Beware: Errors don’t always turn on warning lights on the dashboard after a minor accident. In this situation, your car may seem drivable, but some of these systems may not be working correctly and in conjunction.
At Mike’s Auto Body, we are doing everything we can to learn as much as we possibly can about ADAS. Fixing it in today’s vehicles is an ongoing challenge, but we are more than ready for it. So, if your car has ADAS and you get into an accident, be rest assured that we are on the job with the correct tools, equipment, and training to do the job right.
Sources: I-CAR and ABRN