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ADAS: great commitment to the sector in Brussels

Massimo Brunamonti

The EU Transport commission deals with the theme of the Adas in "retrofit"
The fact that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and all related verification and calibration tools are now in great demand, was clearly demonstrated during the Autopromotec 2019 event, where a proliferation of solutions from some of the major manufacturers in the sector were showcased.
Calibration tools for cameras and sensors have been around for some years, though previously considered specialized equipment. This is no longer the case: the entire car repair sector is perfectly aware of the true scale of the issue, and is looking at upgrading itself to capitalize on a business that seems to show the greatest development potential.

And ADAS now are the talk of the town at all levels, both professional and political. In less than two weeks, two meetings were held in Brussels with ADAS as one of the central themes. The first of these meetings, organised under the aegis of the Transport Commission, focused on retrofitting ADAS to vehicles not originally equipped with them. For the Commission, the Regulation on Vehicle Safety, currently undergoing a comprehensive revision, ADAS represent the best option in pursuing the goal of significantly reducing accidents and fatalities on the road. And some results have already been achieved: the market is already talking of a new tendency to reduce repair work on bumpers thanks to assisted parking systems. Retrofit ADAS are already available on the market and some of them are already experiencing a marked growth. However, the most interesting point dealt with during the meeting, at least according to us, was the emphasis placed on the role of after-sales service providers and their importance in promoting road safety. For retrofits to work properly, though, it is necessary for car manufacturers to provide the necessary interface and maintenance information to follow the same standards found on original equipment.

ADAS took the centre stage also during another meeting organised by the European Commission's Review Committee (DRC Committee). The general theme was the future developments in MOT inspections in view of the next edition of the General Road Safety Directive scheduled for the end of 2019. Among the many topics ADAS stood out as a key safety element, and consequently, future roadworthiness inspections will have to take this into account. Without going into technical details, it was clearly stated that suitable tests for this purpose are already possible now using the OBD port and other measuring equipment. EGEA, also present at the meeting, stressed that the necessary equipment for such tests could also be quite affordable if data and protocols are standardised as much as possible.
EGEA’s attention to the subject matter is evident by the fact that a working group, called WG2-ADAS, was recently set up and dedicated to after-sales service. In view of the expected gradual mandatory nature of ADAS on vehicles, car repairers are called upon to acquire the needed equipment, a business opportunity not to be missed. The WG2-ADAS has identified a number of priorities on which to work: data and calibration parameters accessible by law; certified and traceable access systems such as SERMI; professional training programs; work procedures and, finally, equipment that complies with a minimum level of quality.

The WG2-ADAS is working in two directions: one relates to the calibration and maintenance procedures of ADAS devices, the other is an acceptable equipment standard suitable for both MOT inspections and routine repair and maintenance services, thus meeting, at the same time, the needs of the market and the necessary safety requirements, a true source of concern for most motorists when it comes to assisted driving.

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