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Alex Borg

Alex Borg

Aug 14, 2023

4 minute read

Fleet Management Blog

Three PM Tasks to Maintain Your Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs) play a pivotal role in keeping your personnel safe when they’re on the road. But just like any other vehicle system, they require recurring maintenance in order to operate to their fullest.

Three PM Tasks to Maintain Your Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems
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What are some examples of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADASs)?

These days, more than 60% of new vehicles sold in the US come equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs). Some examples of ADAS technology in vehicles include: Blind spot monitoring Adaptive cruise control Automatic braking

ADASs have been credited with preventing crashes and reducing injuries and fatalities on the road. But despite their growing popularity and ability to save lives, many fleets neglect the maintenance needs of their vehicles’ ADASs. Some organizations dismiss ADAS maintenance as merely optional, especially when compared to crucially important service tasks like oil changes, wheel alignments and brake pad replacements. Others pass on ADAS maintenance due to their technicians’ lack of familiarity with them or because they lack diagnostic and calibration equipment.

And while keeping up with fleet technology isn’t always easy, this apathy towards ADAS maintenance remains unfortunate. Just like any other vehicle system, ADASs become less effective when not routinely serviced. As part of their larger safety efforts, fleets should make ensuring the condition of their vehicles’ ADASs a top priority.

What forms of preventive maintenance do ADASs require?

ADASs are composed of various sensors and cameras that constantly take in data about their vehicle’s driving behavior and surroundings. ADAS preventive maintenance ensures these instruments are kept in top condition to ensure their readings are accurate and reliable.

Camera lens cleaning

Dirt, dust and grime are the bane of camera lenses everywhere—and vehicle cameras are no exception. When their lenses are obscured, vehicle cameras are less effective at assessing their environment which, in turn, makes safety features like lane keeping assistance less reliable. External cameras (like most backup cameras) are particularly susceptible to dirt, but in-cab cameras steadily accumulate dust over time.

So, to ensure their vehicles’ cameras have a clear view of the road at all times, fleets should add camera lens cleaning to their standard preventive maintenance routines. A microfiber cloth and some cleaning solution is all it takes to return a dirty lens to pristine condition. Remember to use gentle, circular motions to avoid leaving streaks or scratches.

Recalibrations

ADASs are the opposite of set-and-forget. Because their sensors are designed to detect deviations from an established baseline, whenever a vehicle’s status quo changes, they need to be recalibrated to the new normal.

For example, many aftermarket ADASs rely on windshield-mounted cameras. In order to function at their best, these cameras need to be specifically angled and calibrated. This means that any time these cameras need to be reinstalled (like in the event of a windshield needing to be replaced), they must also be recalibrated. Even a one-degree change in angle can dramatically affect a camera’s field of vision, so “eyeballing” a camera remounting is not a viable approach.

Additionally, even the most minor fender benders can knock ADAS sensors out of alignment. Seemingly innocuous maintenance activities like wheel alignments and tire rotations can also alter a vehicle’s operating conditions enough to the point where recalibration is advisable. To account for this, fleets should run a diagnostic checkup of their vehicles’ ADASs after any event that could necessitate recalibration. If a fault code is detected from one of these tests, a recalibration should be performed before the vehicle is returned to service.

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Software updates

In a similar way to how keeping your computer’s software up-to-date can help it perform more effectively, regularly installing vehicle firmware updates can improve the efficacy of their ADASs. Vehicle manufacturers frequently roll out firmware updates designed to improve how various computer systems within their vehicles function. ADAS-specific firmware updates can improve how they evaluate hazardous driving conditions, respond in emergency scenarios and more. When fleet technicians perform a computer-assisted diagnostic check of one of their vehicles, they should check to see if that vehicle’s firmware has been updated to the latest version available. If it isn’t, technicians should take the time to download and install any updates before the vehicle leaves the service bay. This is most easily accomplished by connecting the vehicle to an available wireless network, but if that isn’t an option, some vehicles can be updated by connecting a USB drive. And while download and installation times can vary depending on internet speed and the file size of the updates, this process generally only takes a few minutes, making it well worth the time investment.

While their maintenance needs may not be as apparent as other vehicle systems, ADASs still require periodic upkeep to perform at their best. By ensuring they’re kept in optimal condition both in terms of mechanics and software, fleets can help improve the safety of their drivers on the road. And with the help of a fleet maintenance system, performing, logging and tracking ADAS maintenance tasks can be made more collaborative and streamlined.


Looking to take your preventive maintenance approach to the next level? Fleetio can help. Start your free trial or request a demo today.

About the Author

Alex Borg
Alex Borg

Content Marketing Specialist

Alex Borg is a Content Marketing Specialist at Fleetio. Beyond writing, his interests include going to concerts, playing guitar, and hanging out at the beach.

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