By 2030, it is predicted that 83% of vehicles will have some level of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)  installed. This is significant when compared to 2019, where only 30% of vehicles had any form of ADAS, showing how fast the automotive industry is moving.

While ADAS bring additional safety and comfort, they also bring new challenges in handling car damage repairs for drivers, fleet operators, and body repair shops. So how will the car repair industry be affected by this ongoing change? And what does this mean for fleet operators looking for repair solutions? In this blog, we are going to cover exactly what these advanced systems are and how different the repair process is from traditional combustion engine vehicles.

What is ADAS?

ADAS are electronic systems designed to improve the safety and convenience of driving a vehicle. These systems use cameras, radar, and other sensors to monitor the surrounding environment and assist the driver in various tasks such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and much more. They can warn you and in some systems also intervene if necessary.

An Elsevier study in the UK showed that full deployment of ADAS can reduce the most frequent accidents by 29%. While these tools are handy, it's important to distinguish between ADAS and autonomous vehicles. ADAS are meant to improve your driving, not replace you as the driver altogether.

Different ADAS systems

Every year, there are more ADAS introduced across all kinds of parts of the vehicle in order to make the experience of driving safer and better. Here are a few examples:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control is an enhanced Cruise Control that automatically adjusts your car’s speed to match the car in front, slowing down if necessary.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking System is a safety system that uses radar and cameras to identify threatening situations and activate brakes to slow or stop a vehicle to avoid collisions.
  • Automatic Parking Assist helps make parking safer through the use of sensors, cameras, and vehicles that park autonomously.
  • Driver drowsiness detection is perhaps one of the best ADAS systems and here’s why. It’s an advanced driver monitoring system that uses cameras and eye tracking sensors to detect microsleep, fatigue and lack of attention by analysing yawning frequency, eye-gaze movement, facial expressions, car speed, time of day, and weather conditions.

Why vehicles with ADAS require special repairs

ADAS-equipped vehicles need special care during their repairs to avoid impacting their sensors and cameras, leading to poor performance. One important difference between the repair of normal vehicles and vehicles with ADAS systems, is that the latter costs much more. This has several reasons, explained below:

  1. ADAS sensors are vulnerable —ADAS sensors located all over the vehicle are sensitive to the external environment and can be damaged even by hitting a road curb. This requires more costs for repair as the sensors need to be taken out and reinstalled to ensure no damage has been done.
  2. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) requirements — OEM parts are typically used for replacing damaged vehicle components as they are designed specifically for the ADAS in each car. A repairer should rely on an OEM to ensure the best fit for the ADAS system, even if it is more expensive for the client due to the need for specialised diagnostic tools and specialists.
  3. Calibration — Once the repair is completed, the body repair shop needs to calibrate the ADAS after repairs to ensure proper function and warning signals. Body repair shops must invest in tools and training to qualify for sensor calibration, which leads to higher costs for clients.
  4. Required extra floor space — Repairing ADAS incurs extra costs for body repair shops, including the requirement for a specific floor space without reflective surfaces and limited sunlight to ensure proper sensor function, this results in higher costs for the client.

As ADAS-equipped vehicles require special repairs, it’s essential to find a good repair shop that can handle it. Finding these qualified repairers can be difficult as there are a lot of things, as explained above, that need to be taken into consideration.

Digital repair management

In conclusion, ADAS-equipped vehicles lead to costlier repairs depending on the system and the capabilities of the repairer. Finding a qualified, and fairly priced repair shop can be tough, which is why digital repair management can help you have a clear overview of your options.

You can save time and money by using Fixico’s digital platform to manage your repairs and find optimal repair solutions. We work with over 3,000 repairers across Europe, who we advise to ensure they always have the latest training and certifications. With our comprehensive insights and expansive network, we can always help you find a repairer who is in close proximity, is qualified to repair the specific vehicle, and is most readily available in order to ensure minimum off-road time. Get a free demo and unlock the potential of digital repair management!