Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)

ADAS, or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, have been designed and are continually being developed as part of the move towards autonomous (self-driving) cars. These systems aim to improve driver safety and convenience, and also to protect road users such as other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. ADAS is based around a linked series of cameras and sensors, which are usually installed in a vehicle at the production stage. Their purpose is to feed relevant information on the surrounding traffic and environment to the systems which control the vehicle, to enable it to take appropriate action.

ADAS appears in many different forms, which vary depending upon the make, model and sophistication of the vehicle. The most frequently encountered examples of ADAS cover areas such as: keeping the vehicle within a lane (lane assist, lane control and LDW - lane departure warning), vision assistance (road sign recognition, night vision and surround view), obstacle avoidance (parking assist or AEB - automatic emergency braking), and switching on the windscreen wipers or lights as appropriate.

All of these functions play a major part in improvements to general road safety, because they combine the best aspects of rapid electronic response times with the skill of the driver. ADAS in its simplest form can let the driver know there is a potential hazard that they may not have seen, therefore allowing them time to take appropriate action. However, if the hazard is too close or too severe, ADAS can take over control of the vehicle, and perform a suitable action (such as braking) with a reaction time that is far shorter than could be achieved by any human driver, and could mean the difference between life and death. Because of the improved safety aspects, vehicles fitted with certain types of ADAS (such as drowsy driver detection) can be eligible for a reduction in insurance costs.

Industry experts estimate that currently, around 50% of new vehicles are being fitted with more than one ADAS feature as standard (as opposed to being retro-fitted, or available as extra features on the very highest range models). The sensitive cameras and sensors that enable ADAS to function are often situated around the area of the vehicle windscreen, so if a windscreen needs to be replaced or refitted, these will need to be recalibrated to keep the system working as it should. The increasing number of vehicles fitted with ADAS means that in future, many more windscreen replacements will also involve the complexity of ADAS calibration, requiring additional technical skills and specialist equipment. Not all windscreen replacement services have the appropriate facilities and expertise to deliver ADAS calibration, so it makes sense to only entrust the replacement of your windscreen and the associated ADAS calibration to someone who is certified and experienced - a myWindscreen automotive glass technician.

Windscreen calibration

Why does my ADAS need recalibration?

ADAS functions by cameras and sensors delivering their input to the vehicle control system, and some of these devices are situated around the rear-view mirror area - examples are radar, LiDAR and stereo cameras. The input from these devices, combined with the data from the other cameras and sensors located around the rest of the vehicle, gives a comprehensive picture of what is going on in the surrounding area.

If any of these devices are moved out of alignment, for example during a windscreen replacement, they will not give a true picture of the external environment. As ADAS is totally reliant upon camera and sensor input in order to take appropriate action, if the input is unreliable, ADAS will be unable to provide the protection you are relying on. It therefore makes total sense that if you need a windscreen replacement, the ADAS needs to be recalibrated after fitting is complete in order to ensure you still have full ADAS functionality.

It’s not just windscreen replacement that should trigger an ADAS calibration check - it is also recommended that you get periodic checks done to ensure that all the individual aspects of the system are operating within the required limits. There are a number of circumstances which may trigger the need for an additional calibration check, and potentially the need for ADAS recalibration:

  • Finding an ADAS triggered fault code on the dashboard display
  • A tyre change (one or more tyres)
  • Wheel alignment adjustment
  • Suspension adjustment or repair

If you need an ADAS calibration check (whether routine, post windscreen replacement or for any other reason), request it from a member of the myWindscreen network. That way, you can be confident that the technician who carries out the checks, and any required adjustments, has been fully trained in the equipment and techniques, and operates to the most rigorous standards of quality.

How is the ADAS recalibrated?

ADAS calibration comes in two general forms - static or dynamic, and both forms are available through a myWindscreen technician near you.

Static - the first stage, completed on-site within the myWindscreen workshop. Static calibration aims to ensure that all sensors and cameras are aligned properly, and are delivering the correct data. This stage utilises sensitive, high technology equipment, which includes digital measures, laser levels and other pieces of kit. 

Dynamic - a second stage, which utilises the vehicle’s own ADAS cameras, sensors and related systems. Dynamic calibration involves the technician driving the vehicle, while the onboard systems use the real-life road conditions to carry out fine calibration adjustments.

ADAS can be an absolute life-saver for you, your passengers and other road users, but only if it is working correctly 100% of the time. A regime of regular calibration, combined with recalibration when the situation calls for it, is the only way to ensure everything is working properly, and you are getting the best out of the benefits of an ADAS-equipped vehicle. When you trust ADAS to keep you safe, it makes sense to only allow capable, skilled technicians to check and maintain the system. You can call on a myWindscreen technician to check and recalibrate your ADAS system, secure in the knowledge that they are well-equipped, competent and fully-qualified to carry out these vital tasks.