Editorial: Why You Should Consider Offering ADAS Service

April 15, 2024

Last year around this time, I bought a 2019 Subaru Outback — certainly not a high performance vehicle by any stretch of the imagination, but one that checked several boxes for me.

In addition to all the usual things, I wanted something that was reliable and built to last. (I put lot of miles on my cars.)

There were other features of the vehicle that appealed to me. I’ll admit that the presence of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) was very low on my list of “wants.”

That said, I quickly learned that the 2019 Outback comes with an ADAS package called Subaru Eyesight, which was introduced six years earlier.

According to the website Caradas.com, Subaru Eyesight uses various sensors, including two front-mounted cameras, to evaluate the environment around the vehicle — detecting lane markings and even the presence of other cars.

Within Subaru Eyesight are several other ADAS features, including adaptive cruise control, advanced adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and pre-collision braking.

I knew next to nothing about these systems when I bought the car.

If I was a betting man — and I did win a few bucks playing blackjack recently — I would guess that many of your customers also are unfamiliar with the ADAS that comes on their sportier, more expensive, higher-performance vehicles.

Herein lies a great opportunity for your business.

It’s generally recognized that modifying a vehicle’s dimensions, including its ride height, has the potential to impact ADAS sensors, thereby triggering recalibration. 

And it’s a lock that more and more vehicles will come equipped with ADAS.

As an installer of high performance/ultra-high performance tires and custom wheels, you should consider providing ADAS service at your business. This is especially true if your shop provides other vehicle modifications, like lift kits, etc.

If you don’t believe me, listen to the experts.

“Over 40% of the total car count is ADAS-equipped, with that number projected to be 75% of the car parc by 2030,” says Eric Sponhaltz, director of sales, ADAS, Autel North America.

“Changes in ride height and tire size trigger ADAS calibrations as part of OE service and repair procedures. Are you working on brakes and steering systems? All of these tie to ADAS installed on the vehicle and trigger required ADAS calibrations after alignment.

“Calibrating ADAS is one part of the work required to restore the full safety effectiveness of a vehicle” before it leaves your shop, Sponhaltz explains. “ADAS is here to stay.”

“I firmly believe ADAS services and calibrations are one of the biggest opportunities and challenges the automotive industry has seen in more than a quarter century,” says Frank Terlep, vice president of ADAS solutions for Opus IVS.

“The number of vehicles tire dealers see that require ADAS services and calibrations will continue to increase every year."

Terlep adds that many businesses “do not have the proper equipment, facilities and training to properly perform ADAS services and calibrations. This presents an opportunity for tire dealers to offer ADAS services and calibrations."

“Any drivability modifications to a vehicle equipped with ADAS sensors, past OE specifications, would require an ADAS calibration to confirm sensor visibility is correctly targeted,” says a representative from TEXA USA. “This includes suspension work or tire size adjustments.”

Ryan Gerber, product specialist, ADAS, at Hunter Engineering Co., says tire dealers and installers should offer ADAS service simply “because they can. They can get into the game at several different levels and grow from there.

“For example, an easy inroad is a quality scanner that can handle dynamic resets and get along with your aligner,” which, he says, requires “no additional space” and can be “a small investment.”

“Once you’ve achieved a comfort level through experience, (you can) explore further growth with more sophisticated equipment for static calibrations. Nearly all ADAS calibrations begin with an alignment, because if they wheels aren’t straight, neither is the ADAS.

“The tires are there, the customers are there, the vehicle is there,” and if your shop is so equipped, “the aligner is there. Most of all, the work is there.

“It’s a logical progression” to go from tire/wheel installation to ADAS work, he says. ADAS service “can be very profitable and it will never go away.”

If you’re reading this, your shop is already on the cutting edge of tire and wheel installation and vehicle modification. Offering ADAS service will help you stay there.

Once you recoup the investment in equipment and training, ADAS work will contribute positively to your bottom line. At the very least, you owe it to yourself to consider offering this service.

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.