Understanding and Maintaining Advanced Vehicle Systems

While ADAS systems are increasingly common in vehicles, the sensors that provide the information must be set correctly to warn drivers when things are amiss.

Several fleets are really focused on autonomous-driving systems. It really started in 2015 when a lot of OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] made features in their new trucks and trailers, whether it was Advanced Driver Assistance Systems [ADAS] or backup technology. But people want these features to work. Here’s how you keep them at optimal levels.

ADAS Sensors

Their correct operation and safety hinges entirely on a network of sensors that surround the cars and feed information to the ADAS systems. These might be video cameras, radar, sonar and GPS systems, or a new type called lidar (light detection and ranging) – anything that could offer the driver the ultimate information about his environment.

ADAS sensors are always keeping tabs on their environment and giving priority to environmental data most likely to lead to driving actions that make our vehicles safer and easier to drive. ADAS is the technology that makes backup cameras and blind-spot detection possible, as well as lane-departure warnings and adaptive cruise control.

Sensors have to be calibrated properly to align with each other in order to function properly. They are highly accurate, so if they move even slightly out of alignment they could run the risk of either misaligning a hazard alert or failing to detect one altogether. Therefore, were ADAS to become standard, anyone replacing a windshield or having a collision would require sensor recalibration after the fact, as well as those performing routine service tasks such as wheel alignment or suspension repairs.

ADAS Controls

ADAS sensors capture information about your car’s surroundings and relay it to an onboard computer. This, in turn, can interpret the data and take action in response. For instance, if it detects that the vehicle ahead of you is beginning to slow and shorten the distance it’s following, the computer might apply brakes or turn the steering or switch off your high beams in warning to that driver.

Like laminated shatter-resistant glass and three-point seatbelts, Active Distraction Avoidance Systems (ADAS) are designed to reduce injuries in the event of a collision. Unlike those passive systems, ADAS works to prevent an accident before it happens.

Using, for example, the radar, cameras, LiDAR and ultrasonics systems in the vehicles, it enables the onboard computer to detect the environment, weigh up the risks, and then decide on the best course of action – translating into lower fuel use, less pollution and safer driving on the roads for all. However, any small fault in these complicated systems could lead to a potentially lethal crash, so testing them is vital. NI’s ADAS test solutions for automotive companies provide a workflow that’s crucial in developing and maintaining sophisticated features, while maintaining the highest standard of non-negotiable performance.

ADAS Installation

Because many ADAS functions call on sensors and cameras to function, all of these must be properly calibrated. Since ADAS relies on incoming data from varied systems within your vehicle to provide you with beneficial safety architectures, your critical safety when driving depends in part on properly calibrated sensors and cameras.

Collecting information from different sources, these sensors will identify what’s happening before handing over the data to ADAS computers on board to decide what to prioritise and what to do. Today, these ADAS technologies are saving lives and reducing injuries by preventing and intervening when accidents happen, and by better managing both propulsion and steering of the vehicle.

Manufacturing and installing the components precisely and following manufacturer guidelines is a specialised job that only professional technicians can perform. You can be confident that your ADAS features will work as intended and alert you when you need it the most. Additionally, this serves to add value to your vehicle for buyers, who will appreciate that you have installed and maintained your vehicle’s life-saving technologies to the manufacturer’s specifications – saving them both time and money!

ADAS Maintenance

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) must be regularly maintained for them to perform at their best, requiring calibration to ensure they will respond appropriately when braking or swerving at emergency speeds, and regular maintenance that mitigates wear from repeated usage and cleans dust and debris from sensors that can impede performance.

The technician performing maintenance needs the correct tools and equipment, as well as specialised training. Your shop needs to have adequate clear, flat area where technicians can calibrate systems to the OEM service information. Be sure your shop’s equipment is all available to do the required calibration procedures.

Several ADAS components also require recalibration after certain repairs, such as replacement of outside rear-view mirrors, wheel alignment or collision repair, to prevent false warnings or failure to warn of hazards on the road. Recalibration can also prevent false alarms or failure to warn of hazards on the road, or even act as a diagnostic check itself, which identifies sensors that need recalibration.

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