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Getting maximum benefits from auto braking

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 07:00
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Each year, new technology is added to vehicles making them safer for both drivers and their passengers. These technologies are sophisticated though, and require a thorough understanding of them before beginning repairs. One of the new advancements in vehicles is Automatic Emergency Braking.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems use sensors connected to radar, laser or cameras to look for possible threats to the driver which could lead to potential collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians or hazards ahead. Once identified, AEB systems will automatically begin to brake if the driver does not respond on their own. Although AEB systems vary with their functions, most systems will provide a warning, either with a sound and/or a visual signal to the driver.

However, AEB systems and their collision warnings aren’t always accurate. They can falsely warn drivers they’re about to crash because of a percieved object directly in front of them, though they are simply going around the corner. However, when they do work, they work very well. AEB combines advanced driver assist systems and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to slow the vehicle and potentially lessen the severity of an impact when a collision is probable. Drivers still need to pay attention while driving. It’s just another safety feature designed to reduce accidents.

Some AEB systems can prevent collisions altogether, but most are designed to simply reduce the speed of a vehicle before it hits something. AEB can work with or without driver involvement. It uses information from radar and camera systems at the front of the vehicle to provide a complete and accurate image of the hazards of the road ahead. AEB can use long-range radar (LRR) or mid-range radar (MRR) in combination with a video camera to identify those hazards. Once the hazard has been identified, brake pressure is applied automatically. If a driver's response to the hazard with regard to steering and braking is not enough to avoid a collision, maximum brake pressure will be applied to help reduce the impact. This is where anti-lock braking (ABS) is fully engaged.

Since higher speed crashes are more likely to be fatal than lower speed collisions, AEB systems will save lives, reduce injuries and reduce the amount of property damage that occurs during a collision. However, poor road conditions and poor tire condition may still mean the AEB system won’t have enough time to stop the vehicle before the collision occurs.

It’s important for collision repair professionals when writing the repair plan, to properly identify these systems as they encounter them. It’s also important to understand the “health” of these systems. Like any automotive part, wear and tear plays a role in electronics, and they can fail with little to no warning. Because of where these sensors are located - even repairing a bumper cover has to be thought through carefully. Will changing the thickness of plastic in the repair area have an effect on how the system operates? Manufacturers like GM suggest it does, and even caution against putting bumper stickers on the vehicle.

Understanding these new safety systems is only the first step. In order to ensure that they are repaired correctly, in most cases the vehicle should be pre-scanned to insure the repair plan incorporates all of the diagnostic issues up front. The repair process itself naturally introduces additional trouble codes which can be resolved during the post-repair scan using the asTech™ device.

Understanding all of the repair issues, collision and diagnostic, up front will remove unnecessary delays in the repair process. The asTech master technicians provide dealership level diagnostics, using the OEM factory scan tools to re-flash, re-initialize, and recalibrate these advanced systems. Removing repair delays related to the diagnostic issues by performing pre and post scans improves the overall customer satisfaction by meeting guaranteed completion dates, reduces rental days, and controls claim severity by allowing the car to remain in the production lane at the shop vs. subletting the diagnostic issues back to the dealer.

For more information on ordering your asTech™ device, visit www.asTech.com today.

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