More Money For Windshield Replacements, Less Problems For Drivers
Don’t want to pay more money for a windshield replacement? Then don’t buy a new car. As with all technological advancements, there are always added costs. Your windshield might look like just a big piece of glass, but it’s actually filled with technology. We’re here to tell you why, and by the end of this article, you may be convinced that the extra cost is well worth it.
What are Advanced Driver Assistance Systems?
We’ve been talking about ADAS, (which stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems,) and for good reason too. These systems are here to stay and they’re becoming more advanced with each new model release. They utilize radar, lidar, cameras, computer imaging, sensors, networking, and other devices to create a safer vehicle.
ADAS refers to any type of assistance to the driver that it automated. This can be something as simple as auto-on headlights or rain sensing wipers. Moving up the scale, ADAS can also assist drivers by utilizing night vision technology and sensing vehicles in blind spots- something your average human with five senses would have difficulty doing. ADAS at its most advanced state is less of an assistance system, and more into the realm of becoming autonomous. These are the cars that have lane departure sensors, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems, automated parking, and other features that let the driver sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Self-driving cars: booooring.
This technology isn’t anything new though. Self-driving cars have been in testing since the mid 1980’s and ADAS features became mainstream starting around 2010. Thanks to the likes of Tesla, Google, Apple and Uber racing to have the first truly autonomous vehicles though, ADAS has caught a ton of traction lately. It has really opened up the discussion of highway safety and how these features can prevent crashes.
Saving lives: not boring!
Let’s face it: a large percentage of drivers on the road are just plain bad. You probably experienced one on your way to work this morning, or maybe you were one doing 15 over the speed limit to get work before the boss noticed you were late (we won’t judge).
Not convinced? Every year in the US over 2 million people are injured or disabled in traffic accidents and another 35,000+ are killed. That’s basically the population of an entire town being wiped out every year just from traffic accidents.
ADAS can help. A lot. According to some industry professionals, the impact of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication alone could cut accidents upwards of 600,000 a year! This translates into countless lives, limbs, tax dollars and insurance expenses saved. Combine V2V communication with the other high-end ADAS systems and you have one very safe vehicle.
Windshield Replacement Time
If you don’t already have a vehicle equipped with ADAS features, chances are you will in the future since more and more vehicles have these systems as standard features.
So listen up!
Despite the latest and greatest technology, things still break- especially windshields, which take the brunt of highway-speed abuse from objects like rocks. When it comes time for windshield replacement there are certain things you’ll want to know– like the fact that the car’s computer system will likely need to be re-calibrated.
Areas with road work are notorious for having increased rates of windshield damage
The process for windshield replacement calibration varies from vehicle. It can be as simple as resetting the vehicle’s computer system, to as complicated as setting up lasers, taking measurements, and making manual adjustments. These ADAS calibrations after a windshield replacement require specialized, expensive tools and a lot of training. Additional costs vary by complexity of the recalibration and fees generally range from $150-$450. Considering what goes into it, these are bargain prices. Especially when a proper windshield replacement calibration could be the difference between saving a family of four or a deadly accident.
Windshield Replacement Calibration
You may be wondering why a car needs to be re-calibrated at all. Or better yet, why a windshield replacement causes issues. This is due to the fact that car windshields are actually pretty techie and what you think may be just glass, isn’t just glass. Even though you can’t always see it, there are built-in sensors, specially positioned areas of tint and no tint, heaters, noise reduction layers– the list goes on. Some of these built-in or attached sensors can be linked to ADAS. And if the sensors change position by just a millimeter or degree, it may throw the entire system off. This one reason why re-calibration is essential after a windshield replacement.
The more advanced systems that use cameras for lane departure warning systems and the like usually have special areas of the windshield that the lens “sees” through. It is a very precise area, so great care must be taken during an install to ensure everything is lined up. Much like other sensors, the cameras are very sensitive to change and will likely need to be re-calibrated after a new install as well.