While much is being discussed about the important trend of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), these currently make-up less than 1% of the UK parc1. While EV and hybrid vehicles are something all businesses should prepare for, too few garages realise the more immediate opportunities available to them such as calibrating and repairing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). There are around four million vehicles equipped with ADAS in the UK, making up around 10% of the car parc2 – ten times more than ULEVs – and this number is forecast to further increase in the coming years.
Many garages shy away from ADAS, either not knowing enough about the technology or being unaware of its growing potential within the aftermarket. Since 2016, Euro NCAP, the safety performance assessment programme founded for the UK Department for Transport, has included ADAS systems in its testing, with active safety now essential to achieving its much desired five-star safety rating.
Due to its important role in reducing road incidents, ADAS is featured in over 66% of new cars3. This is not just a challenge for the aftermarket, but an important opportunity to maintain proficiency in servicing all vehicle systems – ADAS is arguably just as important as a vehicle's brakes or steering to driver and occupant safety.
“ADAS, as the name suggests, are important safety measures to reduce the likelihood of traffic incidents between vehicles, other road users, pedestrians and cyclists,” explained Adam White, Workshop Solutions director. “While many focus on electric and hybrid vehicle training, a more immediate opportunity is available to garages who establish an expertise in ADAS. With the technology set to increase across the UK car parc, now is the perfect time to develop the capabilities that will only become increasingly sought after.”
White believes that more could be done by all across the aftermarket. From information and training to working on the technology, increased awareness and activity is crucial as the number of ADAS-equipped vehicles continue to grow. Whether sending it to another garage down the road or performing recalibrations and repairs in-house, all workshops need somewhere to do ADAS work. The consequences of neglecting these systems could be significant.
“If a system isn’t recalibrated following a repair, motorists accustomed to relying on it may be caught out. We have come across situations where a garage has taken the bumper of a newer vehicle to gain easier access to the engine bay, unaware that they were removing a radar system. After finishing their work and replacing the bumper, they failed to recalibrate the system – potentially a very dangerous and costly mistake.”
While there is currently no official requirement, it is highly recommended that everyone who carries out ADAS work is correctly trained. The Auto Education Academy offers two ADAS courses. The first provides a general overview of the technology and participants learn about different calibration methods. The second course is more detailed and offers IMI accreditation in the calibration of ADAS. It covers diagnostic equipment, calibration processes, sensor types and the operation of various assistance systems.
“Everyone knows about hybrid and electric vehicles and the role they will play in the future. But, garages and their technicians are overlooking the rapidly growing parallel ADAS,” concluded White. “The rise of autonomous vehicles begins with the widespread growth of ADAS. If we want to keep motorists safe, the aftermarket needs to stay up to date of the latest automotive technologies and adapt quickly. That is why The Auto Education Academy is making it easier for workshops and technicians to have access to this knowledge and skillset, providing future revenue opportunities.”Back