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Shop changes name to Advanced ADAS Calibration Centers to reflect new business model

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 06:00
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Whether reading ABRN or Motor Age, ADAS shows up in a lot of articles. While some Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems have actually been around quite a while—anti-lock brakes, air bags, traction control, collision mitigation—they’re now being integrated with increasingly intricate sensor systems as the technology evolves toward self-driving cars. And with repair costs and complexity going up, the shop sector watches and wonders about the future.

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At a Glance:
Advanced ADAS Calibration Centers
Keyport, NJ
Location
Jason & Janet Bigelow
Owners
2
No. of shops
24
Years in business
5
No. of employees
100
Total no. of vehicles per week
$1.2 million
Annual gross revenue

Some, however, are taking a more proactive approach. For instance, Advanced Tire & Auto Centers recently changed their name to Advanced ADAS Calibration Centers (AACC) to reflect their new business model. Founded in 1995 by Jason and Janet Bigelow, the original shop in Keyport, NJ still handles traditional services along with ADAS calibration, while their second facility in nearby Old Bridge is strictly calibration, filling a growing void in the market.

“We’re unique in New Jersey because we’re the first one,” says Jason Bigelow. “The next closest dedicated ADAS calibration center is North Carolina.”

As the Bigelows noted in a press release, “today's cameras, radar and other sensors require careful calibration to keep them working properly, and demand continues to grow for the specialized ADAS training, expertise and diagnostic technology…”

“For example,” offers Bigelow, “if I’m off one millimeter calibrating a radar unit on a Honda, it will affect that vehicle’s emergency braking by up to 75 feet, That’s why it’s important to stay on factory tools and have certified people who specialize in this to do the job.”

With demand for these skills and technology primarily coming from local insurance companies and body shops, the Bigelows have essentially switched from one industry to another.

“We ended up migrating more toward the collision industry from about 2012 on,” Bigelow explains. “Last year there was a 44% increase in what we were doing; by the end of that year it was up to 68% in ADAS assistance. We opened a second location to just service our collision industry. We’re expecting by this time next year to experience another 40-45% increase in calibration.

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