As of May 2024, as mandated by the European Union in 2019, all new vehicles will have to be fitted with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This includes intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock installation facilitation, driver drowsiness and attention warning, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency stop signal, reversing detection and event data recording. All this means more sensors and cameras fitted throughout the vehicle, including behind the windscreen. With this the glass business has seen radical changes in recent years. The days of windscreens merely offering protection to its occupants and some structural strength to the vehicle are long gone. The move to ADAS has made windscreen replacement and repairs an ever-increasingly complex job. This has required the glass replacement industry to re-imagine the future of the business and become experts in recalibrating these safety systems.
Following the replacement of a windscreen the recalibration of ADAS is critical for their correct functioning and will ensure that the drivers of these vehicles can expect the safety interventions that rely on ADAS to behave in the way they were intended. Visiting one of South Africa’s largest installers of automotive replacement glass, PG Glass, it was interesting to see how their glass experts are keeping up with these ADAS advancements. They are currently in the process of expanding their PG Recalibration offerings to meet increasing market demands. PG Glass offer a variety of vehicle services through their network of 110 fitment centres and mobile units country wide and source locally manufactured windscreens from Shatterprufe, which are produced to global standards of safety and efficiency. The company’s services also include the installation of paint, windscreen and window protection films, to the more recently added business of car fleet sanitising solutions and aircon re-gassing.
Speaking to Steven Lurie, Commercial Director for PG Glass about what progress they have made so far he had this to say: “We have been ahead of this technological curve from as early as 2017, when we began rolling out our PG Recalibration plan across specific fitment centres in the network. With the help from our global partners, Bosch Automotive, we began upgrading fitment centres with scaleable ADAS solutions and currently have fitment centres that are PG Recalibration-enabled country wide in all the major metros. Our objective is to keep growing this network of PG Recalibration enabled centres to keep pace with market demand.”
Currently PG Glass offer a number of static and dynamic recalibration services with typical ADAS components relevant for front camera calibration after windscreen replacement such as; lane assist systems, road sign recognition systems and automatic emergency braking systems. With very little commonality amongst OEM ADAS systems at present, some manufacturers require more than just one system to be calibrated in order to restore full ADAS functionality. Depending on sensors and systems there may be a mixture of dynamic and static calibrations needed. Usually, the static calibration procedure is carried out first and then completed with the dynamic calibration procedure (service drive).
Focusing their attention on front facing camera recalibration after windscreen replacement, PG Glass have identified the need to offer more ADAS recalibration services in the form of adaptive headlight and front radar re-calibration by the end of 2021. This is because with sensor fusion the latest ADAS functionality relies on more than one system to perform a task, eg: an adaptive headlight function may use both the front radar sensor and front facing camera to operate. PG Recalibration fitment centres are now equipped with Bosch Automotive’s OEM approved: ESI [tronic] 2.0: Diagnostic Software and Bosch Automotive’s new generation vehicle communication interface units which provide fast access to the diagnostic routines needed for an ADAS system re-calibration. Up-to-date training is met with Bosch’s “Train-the-Trainer” programme and includes remote support to the individual specialised fitment centres. Having Bosch Automotive systems as their global partner, with software and hardware continually updating, ensures that PG Glass have the flexibility to scale-up, as and when the demand arises and as alternative ADAS sensor or radar systems need recalibration. One of the most important aspects of the recalibration process is gaining access to the OEM server and acquiring the vehicle access key from the OEM. Speaking to Eddie Irving, Operations Manager, Belron International (franchise licensor of PG Glass), he explained: “It has become increasingly challenging for us to connect and gain access to these vehicles due to the complexity inherent in these technologies. However, as a legitimate and trusted automotive glass installer and thanks to our global partnerships with both Belron International and Bosch Automotive we have specific access to the necessary key encryptions allowing us to deliver recalibration solutions at fitment centres nationwide, saving the vehicle owner from having to pay OEM dealer glass prices, OEM dealer labour charges or OEM dealer recalibration fees.” Finally with this focused ADAS capability from PG Glass, body shops can look forward to a competent partner who has a competitive solution to windscreen fitment problems associated with windscreen recalibration of all types that will be covered by their centres nationally.
One thing for sure is we all need to stay abreast of these safety technologies and ensure that a service provider can repair the vehicle safely and to OEM specification. PG Glass’s professionals are now equipped to fit these complex windscreens and see to it that the safety systems are correctly recalibrated. The PG Glass way of fitting, along with Belron International standards, is a unique global practice for PG Glass technicians and their workmanship. This ensures that the highest quality and safety standards are delivered consistently and without compromise. Protect your policyholders by talking to PG Glass about products that can benefit your clients and remember, it’s not just a piece of glass anymore, there’s serious technology built-in and safety standards that need to be adhered to.
Story and pics by Jay Groat