Vehicle safety technology is progressing at a staggering pace, with features that not long ago were only available on some high-end models now commonplace at many price points. Back-up cameras and automatic emergency braking systems are seemingly paving the way as manufacturers move toward fully autonomous (driverless) vehicles.
The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), in its spring newsletter, addressed recent developments in vehicle safety technology—or advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). And the technology, BAR noted, is not only transforming vehicle manufacturing but also the auto repair industry, as those who work on and fix vehicles also must evolve.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is evaluating the safety benefits of ADAS and the future of autonomous vehicles, and it has mandated all vehicles sold in the U.S. after May 1, 2018, must be equipped with rear visibility devices such as back-up cameras and monitors.
And in a sign of the major shift underway in the auto industry, BAR also reported that NHTSA—along with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety—recently announced “a historic commitment” by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars by 2022.
Vehicles equipped with ADAS vary by make, model, and year, and can be standard equipment or part of an option package. BAR emphasized to its licensed dealers that some advanced safety technologies require specific equipment, tools, and training to work on properly.
Some automotive repair dealers are performing ADAS service internally, while others are subletting the service to outside vendors. In either case, repair dealers are required to follow service specifications, accepted trade standards, and laws within the Automotive Repair Act and BAR regulations.
Consumers in need of auto repairs should visit the BAR website (www.bar.ca.gov) to be sure the license of the repair shop they choose is in good standing. If the vehicle in question is equipped with advanced safety technology, owners should ask the repair dealer specifically about potential work that may include those features.