A.W. Beattie’s Automotive Technology and Automotive Collison Technology instructors recently huddled around a 2018 Honda CR-V and worked together to align lasers underneath the vehicle.
Each measurement, they said, had to be precise for the programs’ new piece of equipment to work.
Soon, students in each program will be introduced to the ADAS - Snap-on Collision Avoidance Alignment System, the first one to be used in a career center in Western Pennsylvania. The ADAS system was purchased as part of an educational grant.
“The equipment is utilized to set up, adjust and calibrate collision avoidance systems on today's vehicles,” Automotive Technology teacher Mr. Parks said. “The collision avoidance systems are so sensitive that if you change a windshield, the system needs adjusted and checked. If a car is painted, the thickness of the paint can diminish the effectiveness of the system. If you change the tires on a vehicle to a different size, the system needs to be calibrated. These systems are so sensitive that even if you have a low tire or change to the doughnut spare, the systems may not work.”
The advanced collision avoidance system technology in modern vehicles work on a limited or modified system of sonar, which transmits signals. The system’s computer can calculate distances from other objects and take action.
Systems that work on a hybrid of radar and sonar and are even more sensitive.
“Any service that can alter the height, track or visibility of the car will impact the collision avoidance systems,” Mr. Parks said. “Cameras in the car aim through the mirrors, windshields and rear window. Sensors mounted in the side mirrors, front and rear bumpers are projecting sonic waves and it's all balanced. Any change in the vehicle upsets the balance. When you replace a windshield, they remove the mirror where the camera is located and you've upset the balance. Glass companies do not have the time and equipment to re-calibrate or test the systems. How many vehicle owners know this?”
The ADAS - Snap-on Collision Avoidance Alignment System will be used by the Automotive Technology and Automotive Collison Technology programs to set, adjust, calibrate and test collision avoidance and detection systems.
The equipment is a sophisticated system of optical measuring tools.
When the vehicles system is activated, the collision avoidance system will emit a series of signals that focus on images on the test equipment and then realign and calibrate the sensors and will then notify the technicians if components are out of limits and require service.
“Most vehicle owners don't realize that simple services like tire and glass replacements, alignments or bumper touch-ups can open themselves up to massive legal issues if the vehicle is in an accident,” Mr. Parks said. “With these calibration tools, we (in Auto Tech and Auto Collision) can now adjust and modify vehicles when we perform tire, suspension and alignment services. We can test and calibrate the vehicles after repainting or glass service. It’s a great piece of equipment that will be a valuable learning experience for all of our students.”