As manufacturers roll out more and more ADAS equipped vehicles; auto glass shops need to start getting better acquainted with ADAS calibration and how it will affect their business.
The Number of ADAS Vehicles Growing Quickly
The number of new ADAS enabled vehicles produced each year is increasing rapidly. This rise in cars with driver assistance systems is due to a combination of a growing demand from consumers for these types of features and stricter safety regulations. In fact, The United States is mandating that all vehicles be equipped with autonomous emergency-braking systems and forward-collision warning systems by 2020. Meanwhile, Toyota has said that it plans to have ADAS features on almost all of its cars by the end of 2017.
It can Impact a Shop's Liability
An uncalibrated ADAS vehicle can be dangerous on the road. This is especially true when a driver is unaware that their system is uncalibrated. An ADAS system that is not working properly can dramatically increase the chances of an accident and if one occurs, the shop who replaced the windshield can be held liable. If you are not performing calibrations, you need to make sure you are notifying every customer that is getting windscreen replaced with ADAS of the need for calibration.
ADAS Calibration is Making Replacements More Expensive
Windscreen Calibration takes more time and requires expensive tools
Calibrating a windscreen with driver assistance features takes extra time as well as specialized tools and knowledge. It's not something that can be expected to be thrown into the job for free, and the current going rate camera calibration is somewhere between an extra $300 - $400 per install. Given the complexity of correct calibration, the time it takes, and the equipment needed, those numbers aren't dropping anytime soon.
Some Manufacturers require OEM Glass for ADAS
Right now, aftermarket glass dominates the auto glass industry since consumers and insurers almost always value price over quality. That could change with the increased need for ADAS calibration. Many auto glass installation experts firmly believe that you should only use OEM glass when replacing a windshield on a car with an ADAS system.
Some vehicle manufacturers are already taking this one step further. Subaru now requires that OEM glass is used for windshield replacements on models that are equipped with the EyeSight Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Mercedes-Benz suggests only using their glass when replacing a windshield on their vehicles. As manufacturers push harder for shops to use only OEM glass when replacing windshields on their vehicles, more customers and insurers will move away from aftermarket glass and back towards OEM.
The Largest Auto Glass Operations are Taking Action
Recently, Safelite laid out their plans for adding ADAS calibration to their service offerings this year. Back in October 2016, JN Phillips announced their launch of a comprehensive windshield ADAS calibration program. That is two of the largest auto glass businesses in the country, gearing up for what they anticipate to be a significant demand for ADAS calibration in the near future.
ADAS is Creating Big Opportunities
ADAS and windscreen calibration is a new disruptive force that will have a major effect on the auto glass industry. Fortunately, this disruption carries with it an enormous business opportunity for shops both small and large.
As ADAS enabled
Shops that perform ADAS calibration that demonstrate to their customers of the value of this service being performed with the replacement will be able to add several hundred dollars to each of their windscreen replacements when working with ADAS vehicles.