DRIVER ASSISTANCE DEMYSTIFIED (part 3) : ADAS, THE ULTIMATE TOOL FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
(Article published in L’Automobile Collision magazine, October 2023)
By Raynald Bouchard
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are part of the ultimate goal of 100% autonomous vehicles (AV). The main question is who is responsible in case of an accident.
A 100% autonomous vehicle (AV) implies that no human intervention is required, except in case of an emergency. At present, no one can claim that this machine will make the right decisions 100% of the time when there is another vehicle in its path.
The current challenge lies in data collection, with the aim of educating systems about all the possible variants the vehicle could encounter, something that remains incomplete at this point.
Who is Responsible for What?
Let’s leave aside accidents with fatalities or injuries, which are the prerogative of the SAAQ and its No-Fault plan. Francis Leblanc, Director of Training and Partnerships at the Comité paritaire de l’industrie des services automobiles (CPA) Québec, sees a promising solution: “We can now say that manufacturers are in the process of setting up their own insurance companies in order, on one hand, to be able to modulate their offer of coverage according to the safety systems on-board the vehicle and, on the other, to adapt the cost for users thanks to real-time data gathering.”
The reason for this, he explains, is that automakers are the only ones to provide adequate insurance coverage based on the travel data of their own makes of cars. “As an example,” he continues, “Tesla is currently using a new division called Tesla Insurance which operates in twelve U.S. states, while GM employs American Family in 40 states. As for Ford, it is partnering with Arity and Octo Telematics.”
In order to carry out a complete static calibration, it is necessary to use specially designed machines capable of reading and interpreting the measurements taken by the operators. A few firms spring to mind: Snap On, John Bean/Hoffman, Bosch, Hunter Engineering, Hella Gutmann, asTech, Mitchell, Pilkington and AUTEL.
This represents an investment ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. That’s without counting, in the case of a static calibration, the installation of an area with many constraints within a garage or body shop, in the hope that the turnover will compensate for that of the converted space.
The current trend is to make static and dynamic calibration a specialty in its own right. We often see independent dealers and workshops calling in new companies trained as ADAS specialists, or even subcontracting calibration work. Interestingly, software developers are striving to improve current ADAS systems, with the ultimate aim of handling a wider range of physical changes without necessarily having to recalibrate systems in static mode.