Accuracy is Safety in a World of Millimeters

Created on:
September 4, 2019

In 2018, 92.7 percent of consumer vehicles produced included at least one Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature. By 2022, all vehicles manufactured in the United States will be required to have automatic braking systems. ADAS technologies are designed to improve the convenience and safety of driving by warning the driver that a crash is imminent or by temporarily automating certain aspects of vehicle control such as acceleration, braking or steering. As these technologies become more available to motorists, they have the potential to reduce rates of crashes, injuries and deaths on our roadways.

There is still a learning curve for consumers, and the full potential realized by these technologies won’t occur until drivers understand how to use as intended and avoid becoming over reliant on them. The same learning process applies to collision repairers, where the tolerances for sensor placement need to be precise to not only calibrate the sensors, but to ensure they are performing to the safety specifications as the OE intended.

Automotive design has evolved rapidly in the past decade, not just the ADAS components. In order to address government mandated fuel economy standards and improve safety, manufacturers have moved towards aluminum bodies versus steel. This reduces vehicle weight, improves energy absorption, and larger crush zones that fold more predictably. Due to this physical change in construction, vehicles involved in collisions often experience structural movement in the upper body beyond the frame.

Structural movement in the upper body can impact the positioning of an array of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, including forward collision warning (FCW), lane departure warning (LDW), lane keeping assist (LKA), blind spot monitoring (BSM), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA) and adaptive cruise control (ACC). Many of these senor mounts have a +/- 1mm tolerance in order to calibrate and function appropriately, especially in instances where it must read objects in the distance for collision avoidance.

As ADAS systems become more prevalent and advanced, accurate blueprinting during collision repair is crucial to the integrity of the vehicle and calibration of sensors back to OEM standards. The absence of proper and precise measuring tools leads to highly subjective damage assessments which are often made based on opinions and guess work. The Matrix Wand uses a simple, straightforward process to assist collision professionals, automotive manufacturers and insurance providers in repairing vehicles to ensure the safety and functionality is restored as the OEM intended following a collision.

The 3D structural diagnostics provided by the wand lead to minimal vehicle teardown and ensure accurate estimates to reduce supplements while increasing efficiency throughout the repair process. The Fenderbolt software, powering the Matrix Wand, integrates the Mitchell Reference Database to compare points to factory specifications. Calculations from the wand and its software are accurate within +/- 1mm, assuring precision repairs and calibration of ADAS systems.

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