Hofmann Megaplan Blog
ADAS has been a constant source of development over the past few years and due to the recent announcement on Automated Lane Keeping Assistance (ALKS), it seems there are no signs of it slowing down.
The government has announced that self-driving cars could be allowed on UK motorways by the end of 2021, with the Department for Transport confirming that ALKS will be the first type of hands-free driving to be legalised, with speeds limited to 37mph.
Before ALKS will be allowed to grace the UK roads however, these systems must meet four non-negotiable criteria:
- Without causing an incident, the vehicle must have the capability to safely change lanes.
- The vehicle must have the capability to safely pull over to the side of the road.
- The systems on the vehicle must be able to recognise UK road signs.
- Data must be made available remotely through a neutral server for any incident to verify who was in charge at the time of the incident.
Although the announcement has been met with some scepticism over safety (this is in relation to the fact that drivers will still need to be alert and prepared to take over controls within 10 seconds), ALKS is currently going through each stage of development and represents the future of self-driving vehicles.
So, where does that leave businesses within the automotive aftermarket?
What does that mean for your garage?
As mentioned in our previous blog, the need for ADAS calibration is increasing across the UK. With an ever-growing number of ADAS systems being fitted to vehicles, it can only mean that if you don’t offer these vital calibrations, your garage will be left behind.
Ensuring you invest in a high-quality ADAS systems is a must, alongside the specialist training for every employee that will be conducting ADAS diagnostics.
For many independent garage owners, ADAS can appear a quite daunting technological advance. But in reality, it’s little more than a camera system, often mounted in the windscreen, monitoring short to medium range activities such as changing speed limits, or white lines; and a radar system, located in the front grill area, managing active cruise control and emergency braking systems.
If, for example, a frontal impact misaligns the radar unit, or the camera is slightly repositioned when a windscreen is replaced, it’s possible that the ADAS systems won’t work correctly. This is where ADAS alignment systems come in and, it’s where some garages have embraced the opportunity, invested in equipment and are making money.
ADAS Equipment up close...
ADAS alignment rigs are typically made up of a large frame and a diagnostic tool; allowing the user to test and re-align the camera and radar systems as necessary. These are split into two main categories; Analogue and Digital. Hofmann Megaplan has been at the forefront of ADAS alignment equipment since the very early days.
Analogue ADAS Unit
Analogue systems require less initial investment than digital but are designed to get the job done all the same. By not being overly reliant on new technologies they are a highly reliable, albeit manual system, suitable for all garages. Analogue systems require pre-printed boards which are applied to the framework in front of the car to show the test pattern for calibrating the camera systems. The framework needs to be accurately positioned to ensure the pattern on the board is properly aligned to the car, which can be time-consuming. Once set up, the diagnostic tool then communicates with the vehicle’s computers, putting them into calibration mode and effectively teaching the vehicle where it should be looking.
With so many different vehicle marques in the UK, many with their own design of calibration boards, purchasing and storing these boards and protecting them from damage can be an expensive challenge associated with analogue systems.
Digital ADAS System
The digital system does away with the need for physical boards, reproducing the image of a pattern board on a large-scale high-definition monitor. A PC manages the images and communicates with a handheld diagnostic tool which, step by step, guides the user through the process to check and re-align the cameras.
Because the patterns are created digitally, they make setting up and calibrating easier and faster than the analogue counterpart. The frame can be raised or lowered at the press of a button to reach the perfect height and no manual measurement is required. Laser measurement units accurately show the exact frame to axle distance and the system uses these figures to ensure the vehicle sees a perfectly aligned image, even if the frame has not been set exactly true with the vehicle.
Which system works best is a matter of personal choice and circumstance but if you’re considering extending your garage services, you should consider ADAS alignment. These systems have been in use in vehicles for many years now and there’s a real opportunity for independent garages outside of franchised dealerships.
Development takes place in every industry. It is inevitable. And for business owners, it is highly welcomed to enhance the prowess of their services – the automotive garage sector is no different.
The past few decades have seen some of the most advanced technology come to the forefront of the automotive industry; the introduction of electric/hybrid vehicles, the use of ADAS systems within a vehicle to make driving even easier for road users, the development of garage software to complete routine services...we could go on.
But these developments combined with the increasing need to service brand new technology, poses many questions and issues for garage owners and garage equipment providers.
It is easy to see how the garage services sector needs to keep up with the constantly evolving face of technology available to customers – and so far, we have met their requirements:
So, what can you do to make the transition easier?
Take action to become digital!
Obviously, there will be some scepticism about the impact of digital aids within a garage environment. However, without taking the necessary steps to help the move into the digital age, many garages will find themselves being left behind by their more adventurous competitors.
Here is our advice:
Making sure your employees are aware of emerging technology and then fully trained to cope with using such tools, will not only help your garage become more knowledgeable about the garage services sector, but also will help them hit the ground running when you decide to invest in digital garage equipment.
Choosing the right training supplier can be difficult – many garage equipment providers now offer training with the purchase of any equipment. Our ADAS specialists offer a chance to run through how to use your ADAS system effectively, before you start working on customer vehicles.
Welcome new digital tools with open arms
We understand the difficulty of changing the way your garage operations run and therefore, altering your mindset to welcoming emerging digital aids.
This is the key to succeeding in an age where everything is turning digital though. Opening your eyes to investing in the future, will not only increase the efficiency of your services now but set you up for success in the future.
Trust us – your customers will appreciate it!
It's not exactly news to many that ADAS Diagnostics was a hot topic throughout 2019 – and so far, our prediction of little let-up moving into 2020, has been spot on!
But for many looking to invest in this state-of-the-art equipment, ADAS diagnostics has become the biggest technological headache of the year so far.
ADAS like most new technology when it is first introduced is an unknown. It is highly anticipated and can be viewed as another unnecessary expense. But with these sensors now commonplace on consumer vehicles, you risk falling behind the curve if not investing & missing out on revenue.
Revenue in ADAS Diagnostics?
ADAS has been around for a while, but the need to calibrate these systems has become far more pressing with demand now commonplace and many capitalising on this.
An anonymous equation
The great thing about ADAS is the data you get back. At a top-level for every install, for example, you can see just how many calibrations are being completed.
We have one customer who started offering ADAS calibrations using their system in July 2019. With the service still rare, they had people travelling hundreds of miles from big body shops as it was the only way they could calibrate.
To date (March 2020) they have completed over 162 calibrations at £225 a service.
That’s £36,450 in ADAS calibrations alone, meaning the system has more than paid for itself!
While this is an extremely simplified version of the potential ROI, the figures are all true & demonstrate with the help and support of Hofmann Megaplan just how quickly this new service could help your business grow.
Why wait to offer ADAS Diagnostics?
Many garage owners may feel with so many changes going on around vehicle safety, that any new equipment will be out of date within a few months. ADAS equipment has been expertly designed to continuously calibrate vehicles.
Digital system takes this as far as daily updates to board FOC over the air, so their ready to go when you are.
The biggest issue seen in the industry to date is a lack of knowledge and understanding from technicians on how to deliver accurate & reliable ADAS testing. As a result, training is paramount.
ADAS at its finest...
Our training & support speaks for itself. We support some of the UK’s biggest body shops & most successful/ highly rated garages. As a result, these businesses are thriving & renowned for offering ADAS. Why not let us support you too?
Get in touch!
The need for ADAS calibration systems is increasing monthly, with new vehicles being introduced into the UK market.
ADAS Calibration Equipment is still a relatively new phenomenon. Investment in it is a big decision that can for many, be one massive headache.
Speaking to someone who understands ADAS services & the full scope of systems on offer can be essential; especially when it comes to such a large investment which will enable you to complete the ADAS calibrations your customers now require.
You’ve probably been thinking something like “Ok, ADAS is a thing. Do any of my customer even need these calibrations? Oh, I should be completing it after a variety of jobs? It can be an extra source of income? My competitors are offering it now & pinching customers promoting it? There are digital & analogue systems? It costs what? Can I afford not to have it? What system do I need?”
Is there a best ADAS Calibration System?
In short, no.
ADAS is one of the biggest technological advancement in automotive services in the last decade. That means you need a machine that of keeping up with changes to come as cars continue to develop.
For many garage owners, the hefty investment in ADAS calibration equipment can be tough to justify. There are two main systems though catering to different technology levels.
The ADAS Analogue system utilises a more traditional set up of printed boards & a simple manual measurement system, helping to keep initial outlay lower whilst enabling you the ability to complete ADAS calibrations. It is more labour intensive to set up though & new boards need to be purchased to keep it up to date.
Alternatively, a larger investment is needed in the digital solution, which uses a 65” monitor to display boards intelligently to suit the position of the car in front of it. Add to this laser measurement & this system is operable by a single technician saving labour & receives updates over the air for new updates.
As with any piece of garage equipment, knowing which system is best for your garage can only be determined by speaking to the experts! We’d advise booking a visit to the Hofmann Megaplan Centre of Excellence to try both systems out for yourself before making an investment.
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What are you waiting for?
It can be easy to get carried away by the hype of ADAS diagnostic equipment. These systems are dominating social & appear at all the shows. However, if you don’t know what you are doing this equipment could be no more than an overpriced TV!
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are complex and should be treated as such.
Investing in ADAS calibration services is a big deal and selecting the right supplier can make or break the return you’ll see.
ADAS is expert level; get qualified!
ADAS calibrations are a crucial process for the efficiency of the vehicle’s systems.
If the vehicle’s cameras are out of alignment by even the smallest of margins, the consequences could be catastrophic; the appropriate action or alert to a potentially dangerous situation will not happen.
Being a fully qualified ADAS technician is a huge USP that will soon be essential. It shows another level of competency that customers rely on when looking for a garage.
ADAS is commonplace on newly manufactured vehicles meaning it will only be a matter of time until ADAS checks will be incorporated into standard checks as part of mandatory safety like the MOT test – so you need to make sure only fully trained professional are conducting these essential calibrations & your customer know about them.
Make sure your customers are ADAS aware...
How many vehicle owners do you talk to that had no idea they even had a certain feature on their car?
Awareness of brand-new technology in the form of ADAS is essential & is a major reason to choose Hofmann Megaplan.
Although certain developments like cruise control and automatic headlights have been around for a few years, the knowledge that these specifications sit within ADAS is also very low.
As an up and coming garage within ADAS services, offering training and tips on how to recognise and deal with ADAS issues will help customers to gain your trust.
Talk to Hofmann Megaplan today about our ADAS POS packs, coming soon. These ensure ADAS is front & centre in your garages & your customers are educated without simply being sold to. We’re also able to offer additional off-site training for your team members who may have missed the install!
You can regain a customer’s business through honest and helpful services!
Take your garage services to the next level...
Our team have been through professional training and have completed numerous successful ADAS installs across the UK alongside additional training & knowledge days. For more advice on these systems, contact us online today or call us on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss in more detail.
2020 is set to see no slowdown in the talk around Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as garage owners are wising up to the idea of investing in ADAS calibration equipment.
A steep learning curve is ahead for mechanics yet to grasp the ins & outs of ADAS, but digital ADAS equipment is making this far less daunting.
As a garage owner, keeping up with the development of ADAS equipment and the best way to perform ADAS diagnostics can be very difficult – however 2019 has seen many ADAS specific open days popping up, with a chance to get hands on.
For many this is a chance to get excited about ADAS calibrations as an opportunity instead of a threat.
Buy a service, not a product!
If you don’t know what your ADAS equipment is capable of, how can you offer these services to your customers?
ADAS Calibration Equipment is a large but worthwhile investment. Being aware of what your calibration equipment can do is essential to offering this new to many service. You need to be able to justify the additional price you are charging your customer.
Your team also need to understand how ADAS calibrations tie together with the other work they complete and get to grips with performing calibrations efficiently & accurately.
That’s why demo’s & installations are often more essential that owning the equipment. You need a supplier who will not only help you invest in the ADAS equipment but understand how to best utilise it moving forward.
Many are choosing Hofmann Megaplan for just this reason! While we are able to supply the two familiar solution on the market, it is what comes around the physical product that makes us stand out.
From your first enquiry through to each calibration, our service team & ADAS Engineers are on hand to answer your questions, showcase the options available to you, advise, install, train & trouble shoot to ensure your investment isn’t a headache.
Our team have been manufacturer trained and have already completed numerous successful ADAS installs across the UK - so for more advice on these expert systems, contact us online today or call us on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss in more detail.
Demand for a smarter solution to ADAS calibrations is rife. The industry has been screaming out for something simpler that manual boards that cost in both space and money.
In the latest instalment of our specialist ADAS training this week, we were happy to see some new and existing clients back to inspect ouradvanced ADAS calibration equipment –even in the dreadful November weather!
The experts at Hofmann Megaplan delivered open format demos and were on hand throughout to offer their expertise and advice to those serious about a better solution to ADAS.
Experiencing live demonstrations and having the ability to question our experts on ADAS calibration equipment has been proving extremely valuable to our customers who have gone on to purchase.
Guests took advantage of the resources available & really challenged our team on ADAS systems. They also had the opportunity to discover much more in our state-of-the-art showroom.
ADAS headache or opportunity
As one of the biggest talking points in 2019, ADAS has stirred up many into conversation, posing a completely new challenge to the industry.
These advanced vehicle calibrations have a reputation for their complexities, but new technologies on show at our educational day busted this.
Specialist training on these systems can help to make garage owners and mechanics lives much easier.
Industry leading garage equipment suppliers, Hofmann Megaplan, are proud to take the lead and guide industry professionals, by producing informative open days and training resources.
Complex made simple!
The initial expense that must be outlaid for ADAS calibration equipment cam discourage garage owners, however we've already seen the returns proven in those early adopters of the advanced ADAS system.
For those who joined us this week, they have learnt how our specifically designed digital ADAS solution has been produced to be the most cost and labour efficient product in the UK, and how ADAS will change the outlook of vehicle calibrations in the years to come.
Providing an easy and automatic set-up, jobs can be completed much quicker and simpler than with manual boards, by one man only and while offering a more precise service.
The totally digital solution to this high tech calibration also brags a 65" TV monitor display,meaning no purchasing costly boards and having to arrange them yourself.Our system gives you the right screen for the right vehicle & even adjusts to the vehicles position in front of it!
To all of you who visited us at our showroom, thank you for braving the weather and joining us for the latest instalment of our specialist training!