I was teaching a class on emerging technologies when the topic of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) popped up.
A technician told everyone how he recently recalibrated a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) unit on a Honda. The tech went on to say that he purchased stands and targets from a well-known distributor and that his business increased ten-fold.
That's great! When all is said and done — and there is a reboot from electrified to hydrogen fuel to whatever — there will always be ADAS to autonomy.
About another 30 minutes deeper into the class, the technician told everyone how static ADAS calibration/recalibration can be performed — anywhere. Then, went on to say how he recalibrated the LiDAR unit in the shop's parking lot.
WAIT A MINUTE! The parking lot?!
That's when I had to ask all about their ADAS setup:
- "Was the stand level?"
- "Was the ground level?"
- "Was the vehicle level?"
- "How could you tell?"
Of course, the stand was leveled to the ground via the bubble levels on the unit, but what about the Honda?
(Crickets heard in the background.)
And it's not the technician's fault in entirety. Many companies that manufacture the equipment employ other technicians-turned-trainers — who have not been exposed to the elements of ADAS and the one-degree rule as I like to call it — and pass the word to the new equipment owner (not necessarily an automotive technician) and relay their interpretation of the rules of engagement.
And what's more about this ADAS training? It's usually a one-day event.
This included the technician's recalibrating the LiDAR. He was under the impression that the cone-reflector was the key "level" component. The vehicle was secondary. And in this case, the triangulation was close enough — within specifications — to reset.