To begin with, what is ADAS? ADAS standards for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and these are electronic systems in cars designed to help drivers with driving and parking their vehicles. Their main function is to avoid accidents by minimising human error. These systems can include anti-lock braking systems, traction control, blind spot information systems, lane departure warnings and more.
So how can ADAS make your car dangerous?
These systems use many different tools and data sources to get their information in order to do their jobs, including automotive imaging, LIDAR & radar, image processing and in-car networking. All of these systems need to be properly set up and functioning in order to work properly, and usually rely on sensors being 100% accurate.
So what happens when the car is hit, a bracket is slightly bent, and the sensor is tilted even a couple of degrees?
The system stops working and starts doing all kinds of funny things, such as the example of a Toyota Prius that was involved in an accident and was damaged on both the front and rear. During the repair, the front radar unit was tipped up by 2 degrees, and the ADAS system wasn’t properly calibrated.
As a result, the car began to automatically brake every time it approached a bridge. The reason for this was that the radar was meant to detect stationary objects in the distance ahead, in an attempt to avoid an accident. But because the unit had been tilted up, it would detect bridges, think it was an obstruction on the road and hit the brakes.
Luckily in this case the results weren’t fatal, but it could still cause a dangerous situation. And there have been times where uncalibrated ADAS systems have caused deaths.
That is why it is crucially important that after any repair on your vehicle, you check to make sure that the ADAS systems are calibrated and working 100% correctly! In our post-repair car assessment we always conduct a thorough check of the ADAS and safety systems for this very reason.