by Bob Beranek
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I just got back from Glass Expo West™ in Irvine, Calif., where the Auto Glass Safety Council™ (AGSC) held its spring board and committee meetings. Every spring and fall the AGSC board and committees meet to discuss the AGRSS™ Standard, which they are responsible for maintaining, as well as other pressing issues that affect the industry. I am proud to be a board member, chairman of the AGSC Standards Committee and a member of the Education Committee, so it was a busy week.

The biggest issue, both in the committee meetings and at the bar afterward, was the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). How should we handle the recalibration both practically in our daily work and in our AGRSS™ Standard? There were some passionate discussions based on the information brought to us by Mitch Becker of ABRA Collision and Glass and Glen Moses from Safelite. Both gentlemen brought some very interesting facts as well as their opinions, based on extensive research.

Anyone who follows this blog knows my feelings on the issue. Safety is paramount and no matter how anyone wants to paint it, it still comes down to delivering a safe vehicle back to the customer in a manner that is reasonable for business.

If you haven’t seen my previous posts, I said:

  • ADAS is a safety device;
  • Any ADAS cameras or equipment the technician removes or displaces during the course of an installation must be recalibrated by a certified calibration specialist, such as the vehicle dealer or an approved calibration professional, if such calibration is required by vehicle manufacturers’ specifications; and
  • If the calibration cannot be done to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications by the glass technician, an appointment should be made with the appropriate recalibrating agency by the glass shop for the customer so any liability will be reduced to the shop owner.

My belief was that this would have protected both the customer and the glass shop from any issues arising from the ADAS.

Last week I discovered, unfortunately, that the issues aren’t that simple. Here are some more facts about the new ADAS systems that glass shops will need to address:

  • There are more and more vehicle manufacturers that are requiring OEM glass be used on vehicles equipped with ADAS systems. The glass part itself must meet the exact specifications of the system or it may perform abnormally due to curvature issues and tint.
  • Some dealers may not even calibrate the glass unless the glass is OEM so check this out with your local dealerships.
  • Many dealers across the U.S. don’t even know what an ADAS is or know how to deal with it.
  • The debate is still on whether the ADAS is a safety device due to the ability of the driver to bypass the system by turning it off. It was reported that even the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not want to weigh in on this issue as yet.

This makes dealing with these systems very problematic. So problematic in fact, that the AGSC Standards Committee could not yet develop a directive or statement without absorbing and digesting all the information first.

We decided to review the information brought to our attention, research added information ourselves and come back this fall with our recommendations for the committee to debate. This technology is so new and so diverse that even the carmakers’ dealership system is unsure of the ramifications of calibration or recalibration. All we know is what is written in the service manuals of the vehicles, and all we can do at this time is to follow those recommendations.

However, there was one positive note on all this doom and gloom. General Motors does not require recalibration of their ADAS after windshield replacement because they designed it to be self-calibrating. The belief of some of the pundits in the room is that calibration of ADAS may become a moot point in the next decade due to standardization of the systems currently in use. Some believe that the ADAS will go the way of GM’s self-calibrating system rather than Europe’s system of constant calibration of electronic features.

We can only hope.