Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Calibration

We are excited to announce that Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers have added ADAS systems calibration to our service offerings as of 2019! ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are specialized safety functions car manufacturers have introduced to newer vehicles that help protect the driver and reduce the overall number of vehicle accidents. You may not have heard the term ADAS before, but you are likely familiar with several of the systems. They include adaptive cruise control, rear collision warning, and blind spot detection among several others.

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ADAS systems require incredibly precise calibration to ensure they function properly. This means the sensors, cameras, and radars that make up these systems must be positioned accurately. If the position of the ADAS is off by even millimeters, it compromises the functionality and can lead to unintended, and often dangerous, consequences. That is why Silver Lake Auto Centers have decided to lead the way with this technology. We want our customers to be as safe as possible and reap all the benefits ADAS systems provide. We also have the ability to calibrate the ADAS systems of all makes and models, so no customer will be left behind.

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Want to know more about ADAS systems, what they do, and how they work? Read on for information about the current systems available in many newer vehicles today.

Lane Keeping Technology

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Lane Keeping Technology is designed to keep drivers within the lines of their lane. This is especially important for safety on high-speed highways and freeways. Your vehicle may have a Lane Departure Warning, which alerts you with a tone, visual indicator on the dash, and/or a vibration of your steering wheel or seat when the car veers outside of the lines of the roadway. On the other hand, your Lane Keeping Technology might be more active like with Lane Keeping Assist or Lane Centering Assist. Lane Keeping Assist uses steering and/or brakes to return your vehicle to the lane should you go outside of it. Lane Centering Assist takes it a step further by actively maintaining your centered position in the lane at all times.

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All Lane Keeping Technology is only active above speeds of 30 mph and is inoperative when the turn signal is on. The systems utilize a forward facing camera that identifies the lanes of a highway to make its necessary warnings or corrections, which means the calibration of the camera needs to be exact. Other issues that can affect Lane Keeping Technology include a dirty or damaged windshield, adverse weather, and poor lane marking condition.

Adaptive Cruise Control

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This is not your grandmother’s cruise control. Although not a fully independent driving system, Adaptive Cruise Control can maintain a set speed as well as the distance from the vehicle ahead so you don’t have to have to do as much of the manual work. It does this by applying acceleration and braking operations where needed and is controlled by radar sensors. If your vehicle has Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Assist, then the system might be called Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist.

Forward Collision Warning and Forward Collision Avoidance

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Forward Collision Warning is just what it sounds like, it warns you when you are approaching a vehicle in front of you too quickly. It does this via an audible tone, a visual indicator on the dash, and/or vibrating your steering wheel or seat. Front Collision Avoidance, on the other hand, also engages Automatic Emergency Braking to avoid a collision with the vehicle ahead. Both types of systems use forward facing radar, as well as perhaps a camera or LiDAR, to assess the distance and speed at which you are approaching a vehicle.

Rear Collision Warning

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While Forward Collision Warning/Avoidance helps prevent your car colliding into another car, Rear Collision Warning warns you if another car is about to rear-end you. Using a rear facing radar, the system judges the position and closing speed of a vehicle approaching your car’s rear. If it detects that the vehicle is closing the distance too quickly, it will also warn you with an audible tone, visual indicator on the dash, and/or vibration of the steering wheel or seat. More active systems even tighten your seatbelt and adjust your headrest to help mitigate bodily harm.

Blind Spot Detection

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Monitoring the areas alongside you, Blind Spot Detection helps you with what you can’t immediately see. If you activate your turn signal and the system senses a vehicle to that side, then it will alert you with an audible tone and a flashing light on your side-view mirror. Some Blind Spot Detection systems even have the ability to take control of your steering to prevent you from continuing into that lane. The system accomplishes this by using radar, ultrasonic sensors and/or cameras that allow you to view your blindspots on the dash.

Cross-Traffic Alert

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Initially Cross-Traffic Alert systems were designed to allow drivers to alert drivers to an approaching vehicle when backing out of parking spaces. More modern models also have forward-facing systems to assist at intersections with limited visibility and can apply the brakes for you automatically. The Cross-Traffic Alert systems, like the Blind Spot Detection systems, utilize radar, ultrasonic sensors, and/or cameras.

Around View Monitoring

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If you have Around View Monitoring in your vehicle, then this is the one you’ve scratched your head trying to figure out how it works. It appears on your dash as a birds-eye view of your vehicle to help you see parking lot lane markings, curbs, and adjacent cars. While you may have thought that satellites must be the reason behind the image, it’s actually a bit of an illusion. There are four camera systems around your vehicle (front, back, and two sides) that stitch together with a computerized image of your vehicle to give you the perspective that a camera is recording from up above. You can imagine how vital it is for all four cameras to be calibrated correctly in order to get that perfect view!

Adaptive Lighting

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Also called Active Headlights or Adaptive Front-Lighting Systems, Adaptive Lighting is the system that controls the position of the headlights to improve visibility in low-light conditions. The beams turn according to your steering or self-level when you’re going up or down hill, which allows you to see more of what is ahead of you. There are sophisticated Adaptive Lighting Systems that can even selectively avoid oncoming traffic by dimming one side of the headlights. All of this is accomplished with a series of sensors measuring wheel speed, steering angle, and headlight level.

Night Vision Systems

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Night Vision Systems are another safety feature designed to help with visibility at night. Viewable on the dashboard screen, the system uses a camera sensor that picks up infrared, illuminating anything just above visible light.

There are two categories of Night Vision Systems – thermographic cameras and infrared illuminators. Thermographic cameras detect heat signatures to provide long range view of up to 1,000 feet! The downsides to these are the picture is not as sharp and they can be less effective in warm conditions when the roads might not cool down enough at night to capture the difference in heat from a vehicle. While infrared illuminators create clear, lifelike images, they do have a shorter range of about 650 feet and are largely ineffective in snow or rain. Both types of systems, however, are able to help you see cars, animals, or pedestrians well before you normally would during the night.

So when do ADAS systems need to be calibrated?

ADAS calibration is needed virtually anytime that the systems could have been compromised. This could include vehicles that have been in accidents (even very small accidents) or have had their windshield damaged or replaced. Calibration can also be necessary if your vehicle has had a wheel alignment, a change in suspension, or basically any alteration in the position of the ADAS system or the vehicle itself. If there is any question if ADAS calibration is needed, then it is better to be safe and have the systems checked for accuracy. Stop on in to our Oconomowoc, Hartland, or Brookfield shop for ADAS Calibration near you! Give us a call or make your appointment at silverlakeauto.com/schedule.

Written by Megan Rademan

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