Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies are becoming more common in vehicles as well as increasingly more intricate—and our prediction is that these advancements will continue to arrive at an even more accelerated pace.

One of the earliest systems, the automatic braking system (ABS), was used in aircraft as far back as the 1920s. By the 1970s, ABS was available in cars but was still an advanced feature. Because of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 126, any vehicle manufactured after 2011 must have ABS.

Over time, manufacturers have developed plenty of additional ADAS options; the pattern is that, early on, these new safety features appear in luxury cars first and then work their way into a broader range of vehicles. According to an IDTechEX report, it usually takes fifteen to twenty years for an ADAS feature to go from market entry to wide adoption.

Now, here’s something to consider. More than forty manufacturers build hundreds of models, each with their own systems. So, how do you manage an auto repair shop with all of these innovations, ones that are uniquely developed? Here’s help.

Explain ADAS to Customers

Drivers know they want a safer vehicle, but not all of them understand the specifics of ADAS and how it can help to keep them safe. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), this can be especially true in owners of used cars. Research indicates that drivers who bought new vehicles got more education from a dealership, more often, which makes sense. The report also notes that both people who buy new and those who buy used cars need more information about the ADAS in their vehicles than they typically receive.

When a driver doesn’t understand how features work, they tend to have less trust in them and may use them less often—which can lead to more accidents. Using lane department warning systems as an example, this ADAS feature can reduce side and head-on crashes by 11 percent. But, if a driver doesn’t trust the system, they’re less likely to use them and won’t benefit from its protections.

So, the ability to give a high-level explanation of what ADAS are and how the systems help to keep drivers safe may be an underutilized tactic in creating a strategic repair system. For example, you could explain how blind spot monitoring systems help to prevent accidents—which can reduce accidents for that driver in the future.

Familiarize Yourself With a Vehicle

When a customer brings a vehicle into your repair shop, ask them if they know of any ADAS features that have been disabled or are otherwise inoperable. They won’t necessarily know the answer—and that’s okay—but, many times, they will have helpful information for you.

Know what ADAS options a particular vehicle comes with—based on its make, model, and year—by visually identifying each one or by consulting the vehicle’s information from the manufacturer. Then, research what ADAS repairs and calibrations would be needed by referring to the manufacturer’s service information or by consulting with an ADAS specialist.

Conduct a Complete Scan With an Auto Diagnostics Tool

You’ll need an OEM-sourced collision repair scanning tool that can do a comprehensive review of the ADAS features included on the vehicle. The tool will read data to discover what diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) appear. Then, document your findings, including any damage that occurred before the collision.

The quality of the auto diagnostics tool will matter—significantly. It’s crucial to:

To further enhance the quality of your scanning and diagnostics, incorporate a remote auto diagnostics service that allows the scan results to be reviewed and interpreted by someone with brand-specific expertise. This is the key differentiator between using an ordinary scan tool and choosing AirPro’s hardware with the ORION data management system. Our brand specialists will provide recommendations, which includes letting you know your limitations, such as when a repair job should be sublet to a specialty shop.

We’ll share more about the benefits of our collision repair scan technology later in this post. Now, we’ll return to additional steps involved in creating a strategic repair system.

Create a Comprehensive Repair Blueprint

Formulate a plan for the entire repair, including any components that need to be removed or disassembled. Be aware of how this removal/disassembly may have an impact on vehicle operations; this process may also require measurements of components and sensors. In your blueprint, document any calibrations that will be necessary. Ensure that components that are required to stay exposed are, according to manufacturer instructions.

A note about collaboration during the process: ADAS repairs involve collaboration between multiple personnel in your shop: people who address ADAS repairs and those who make collision repairs. Create a repair shop workflow that allows this to happen as seamlessly as possible.

Our auto diagnostics tool (that we described in the previous section of this post) will allow your shop to strategically create a more comprehensive repair blueprint, one that empowers you to diagnose issues that may not otherwise be apparent and then include them in your repair plan.

Perform and Document Collision Repairs

This includes ones that affect ADAS systems. Steps to follow for ADAS repairs include:

Ensure that all steps are completed and the vehicle is appropriately reassembled.

Repeat Collision Repair Scanning

Scan the vehicle again. Ideally, you won’t see any DTC. If you do, document what you see and keep relevant components exposed. Address any issues; clear the codes; document what you’ve done; and perform another post-scan.

Initialize, Program, and Set Up Modules

A scan tool that has the appropriate interface and programming capabilities can perform these steps (although they’re different from scanning). Our hardware, paired with the ORION data management system, has the technology needed to address each of these steps. A skilled technician who is trained in these steps will be needed to manage the process.

As part of our collision repair scanning technology, you will have access to the appropriate brand specialist technician within ten minutes of requesting a service and, within that time frame, we’ll be remotely in your vehicle. In fact, our average service fulfillment time over the past year has been only one minute and twenty-seven seconds! We value your time and promise not to waste it.

You’ll receive expert support throughout the process, including quick initial scans and accurate diagnoses. At each step along the way, you’ll have direct access to OEM licensed software as well as multi-brand diagnostics applications that are resident, directly connected to the vehicle being repaired.

Identify Pre-Calibration Condition Requirements

Verify what calibrations are required for a particular vehicle, finding that data in the manufacturer’s service information. Manufacturer materials will also list the environment in which accurate calibrations should be performed. You may discover that multiple calibrations are necessary because each ADAS function will have different requirements.

Here’s an example of when this can occur. When calibrations are required for tire pressure, proper wheel alignment, and fuel levels, each will require certain actions. Even in the most complex situations, though, our AirPro brand specialists can help you research and verify information about each aspect of the calibration.

Appropriately Set Up the Vehicle in the Proper Environment

Ensure that all pre-calibration conditions are met. Then document each step along the way, including the date and time and the shop personnel who participate in the process. Then perform calibrations, static and/or dynamic, documenting them with photos or video along with the date, time and personnel involved.

Reassemble, Test Drive, and Prep the Vehicle

Finish reassembling the vehicle. Then take it for a test drive. Next up: a dynamic system verification (DSV) where you can confirm the appropriate performance of ADAS features. Make sure that the person performing the DSV is familiar with the vehicle’s ADAS functionalities.

Then, perform one more scan and any quality control processes that your shop has in place.

Back to the Beginning: Customer Education

Near the beginning of this post, we discussed the importance of driver education—of sharing how ADAS components help to keep them safe. When you return the car to the owner, you can review which ADAS features you calibrated and talk about how system settings can be adjusted for personal preference.

Choose AirPro for Your Auto Diagnostics Tool

Our collision repair scanning technology will allow you to repair vehicles with ADAS issues addressed and verified to maximize safety on the road. This technology is a linchpin element of your strategic plan for a quality auto repair system in your shop, and will allow you to improve quality control while reducing cycle time for the ultimate in service and vehicle safety.

To get started or to ask questions about our auto diagnostics tool, please contact us online.