Dec. 16, 2020—Guild 21 hosted a webinar this month that detailed the rising complexity of today’s vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems and the calibrations that need to be completed to ensure their proper repairs.
The webinar was hosted by David DeBoer, CEO of Burke Porter Group, who outlined the importance of ADAS calibrations, how to test their accuracy, and even offered an inside look at a new and robust calibration tool.
“Now is the time to prepare collision bays” for calibrations, said DeBoer.
Factory and Aftermarket Calibrations
DeBoer defined the differences between factory calibrations and aftermarket calibrations. Although they both aim to provide complete and proper repairs, the steps taken to get to either end point vary based on the space, resources, and tools available.
Aftermarket calibrations usually consist of a human driving the vehicle into the calibration space and manually placing it along checkered floor targets. From there, technicians manually move each of a sensor’s targets into specified locations for the vehicle to recognize. DeBoer said techs placing the targets must be highly skilled and understand the patience necessary to complete repairs.
When it comes to aftermarket calibrations, DeBoer said errors are possible due to the amount of human interaction involved.
Factory calibrations are more commonly done using a standalone ADAS calibration system, said DeBoer. These systems operate using a conveyor belt to place vehicles in exact locations every time. The targets are moved via conveyor belts to ensure proper positioning, removing human error.
DeBoer's Calibration Quick Tips
Keep a log of the types of calibrations you complete
Document vehicle positions and characteristics based on automaker
Consider beams, posts or toolboxes that may interfere with calibrations
Keep a tire pressure log
Keep a ride height log
Keep a fuel level log
Guarding Against False Positives
DeBoer also outlined the pitfalls of ADAS calibrations, such as false positive testing results. He recommended performing a variety of tests with misplaced targets to determine if your system could provide incorrect results. His steps are:
Intentionally misplace a static radar calibration target
Perform the calibration with proper OE scan tools, equipment, and procedures
If the system says it was accurately calibrated, then you know it was a false reading; but, if the vehicle does not indicate a proper calibration, you know your system can be trusted
Repeat the test by moving the radar targets further from its correct position, and calibrate
Repeat the entirety of the test with various OEM vehicle types, makes, and models
The presentation concluded with DeBoer giving a demonstration of Chief’s Mosaic Advanced Diagnostic Technology, an automated ADAS calibration system. Chief, a collision technology company, partnered with Burke Porter Group to create the state-of-the-art calibration tool, which aims to minimize human error.
Mosaic ADT automatically updates to provide technicians with the most relevant calibration information, directly from OEMs. It also documents what is done to vehicles throughout the repair process, leaving a paper trail for shops and insurers to follow.
“It’s your craft and your customer’s life,” said DeBoer, “so do it right.”