These companies have developed forms of aftermarket ADAS for those vehicles not equipped, functioning within the newer vehicles, going forward. Modules added to primary modules and antennae — lots of antennae — to communicate with other vehicles equally equipped.
Some units have the capability to process a nearby pedestrian based on the "ping" of a smartphone. Others can recognize a panic stop in the traffic lane ahead of the equipped vehicle and notify the driver of a pending emergency stop. Going forward, it's all about machine leaning to perfect the units ability to communicate.
Whether you like it or not, manufacturers are constantly collecting data on your vehicle and transportation situations — more machine learning towards the ultimate goal. It is up to techs in the real-world applications to keep those systems in designed order and the return data true.
Therefore, it's imperative that the alignment — both steering/suspension and driver-assist components — is precise. How can you make sure that these assist-system recalibrations are accurate? It all goes back to the base: the shop's tools and technician.
Alignment and ADAS equipment needs to have present-day software ensuring the latest camber/caster/toe specs for the YMM; subsequent static ADAS recalibration.
Alignment turntables and rear platform slides must be free of debris and can be moved easily with the light touch of a hand on platform. For those shops that do not have the static components to calibrate/recalibrate ADAS functions, the tech must recognize and emphasize that the vehicle is sublet to a qualified facility for recalibration or alert the customer to do so.
No time to cut corners
For those shops that want a piece of this service — and believing cost-cutting is an option — think, again.
There have been a plethora of videos and articles out there regarding regenerating targets via copy machines. Someone told me awhile back that they were just a "bunch of dots and squares; why not?"
This is the "why:"
A customer gets into an accident. A bad accident where ADAS could have been a factor. You get called into court as the last alignment/ADAS recalibration shop.
When the attorney asks you about technician experience and equipment updates, there will be a followup to that second question: the type of equipment used in the recalibration process. This includes equipment purchase and update receipts.
How are you going to explain that the ADAS recalibration targets were not purchased, but copied and infringed upon the originating manufacturer's copyright?
You do not want to open up your business or career as a technician to additional litigation and subsequently experience, not only the wrath of the accident attorney, but also the manufacturer's attorney for copyright violation.
Easy fix? Purchase the targets from a legitimate source with receipt.
Like I have said before, when all is said and done, you've got to do the job right, the first time. Because you only have one chance at one-degree perfection. If you plan on cutting corners to make the job "work," might as well close the tool box and just go home.
Pam Oakes has been embedded within the automotive industry for almost 30 years as an automotive applications engineer, instructor/course developer, 609 instructor/test proctor, automotive business expert/strategist, 20-year original start-up shop owner/multiple auto business owner, ASE Master automotive & medium/HD truck technician-trainer, diesel Class 8 instructor, automotive author, syndicated radio host and automotive-consumer news media commentator. And she still "turns wrenches" for fun.