Driver assistance systems are now an integral part of modern vehicles. The electronic assistants, also known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System), support drivers or even take over their tasks in some cases. With the help of sensors that record a wide range of vehicle parameters and also the surroundings, they ensure greater comfort and safety, for example in complex or confusing traffic situations.
But what provides an easing of the situation for car or truck drivers is an additional challenge for workshops. This is mainly because of the large number of different vehicle assistance systems and their demanding repair and calibration processes. And this is a fact: for ADAS to function reliably, professionals need to maintain and check them regularly throughout the entire life of the vehicle.
The EGEA (European Garage Equipment Association) has set up a working group for the above-mentioned reason. This group deals with the effects of the increasing spread of driver assistance systems on workshop equipment manufacturers, suppliers and on independent workshops.
The working group, chaired by Pete Bradley of Hella Gutmann Solutions, recently published an ADAS Best Practice standard. The guide provides an overview of the status quo and supports mechanics in maintaining and expanding their expertise in driver assistance systems.
The guide highlights the most common driver assistance systems from A for Adaptive Front Lighting to T for Traffic Sign Recognition. Three examples:
With the adaptive high beam, i.e. the adaptive high beam assistant, the principle of sliding headlamp levelling applies. The xenon headlamps are linked to a camera that is able to intelligently assess images. Depending on the camera signal (oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead), the headlamp range changes with the adaptive high beam, which can either reach up to 300 m or only up to the glare zone of the next vehicle. As soon as the camera no longer recognises any other road users, the system once again slowly and in a sliding motion switches to 'high beam'.
With the Lane Change Assistant, radar sensors on the vehicle rear end complement the driver’s 'glance over the shoulder' when changing lanes. These sensors monitor the entire rear of the vehicle as far as the side parallel to the car including 'the blind spot' where other vehicles might be driving. If drivers then indicate and want to change lanes, the lane change assistant warns them of any approaching vehicles. This can be a visual warning signal in the wing mirror or – depending on the system – also an audible one.
A traction control system (abbreviated to TCS) prevents spinning of the drive wheels when driving off or during rapid acceleration on unpaved roads. The system is called different names by the various vehicle manufacturers.
Furthermore, the guide offers concrete practical tips for dealing with ADAS in everyday workshop life, e.g.:
Against the growing background of automated and autonomous vehicles, the correct handling of driver assistance systems will become even more important. Workshops that address the new requirements for technical training, special tools and repair procedures at an early stage are therefore better equipped for the future.
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