Thatcham and partners release ADAS code of practice for windscreen repairs

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With cars becoming ever more complex, new approaches to established repair practices are required. Windscreen replacement in vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is no exception, with the calibration of technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and advanced cruise control (ACC) needing to be checked following fitment of a new screen, in order to ensure that the systems are functioning correctly.

A group of companies representing the UK insurance, crash repair, technology, and automotive glazing industries, has, together with the UK motor insurers’ automotive research center, Thatcham Research, developed the new ‘ADAS Glazing Code of Practice’. The code sets out best practice for carrying out windscreen replacement on vehicles fitted with screen-mounted ADAS sensors, with an effective and consistent approach to the recalibration of vital technology, ensuring the safety of motorists remains top priority. ADAS sensors and cameras are located towards the top of a vehicle’s front screen, between the glass and the rear view mirror, with the camera lens usually clearly visible from outside the vehicle. The technology is designed to work in combination, to provide an accurate view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings. This enables a range of safety and comfort features such as AEB or ACC.

Safety experts agree that ADAS-enabled technology is fundamental to preventing crashes and saving lives; however, without a robust process for recalibration, system performance could be adversely affected. Windscreen-mounted ADAS technology is currently fitted to approximately 6% of vehicles on the road and it is thought that this figure could be more like 40% by the year 2020. Increasingly, motorists need to be aware of the technology fitted to their own vehicles and are encouraged to ask questions and take their own steps to ensure that it has been handled in the right way.

The new code of practice gives those with responsibility for windscreen replacement a clear framework for ensuring that the safety of customers with vehicles fitted with ADAS sensors is not compromised in any way. If the repairer is unable to recalibrate at the time of carrying out the work, motorists need to have clear information as to what their options are and ensure they follow through with them, avoiding the potentially dangerous situation of ADAS technology not functioning correctly.

“ADAS systems have become an integral feature on modern cars, with motorists increasingly putting their trust in the additional layer of safety that this technology provides. This code of practice is a recognition by the industry that, whilst ADAS technology is helping make vehicles that much safer, it is also going to put a much greater emphasis on ensuring that safety levels remain unaffected following a repair,” said Andrew Miller, chief technology officer at Thatcham Research. “The industry is proactively putting a best practice framework in place, which should provide great confidence to motorists that their safety is at the very heart of this initiative.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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