National Windscreens expands ADAS education programme

National Windscreens continues to expand the scope of its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology development and education programme by joining forces with two of the automotive sector’s most influential bodies.

The UK’s largest independently owned repair and replacement automotive glazing company has become an associate member of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) while technical manager, Alistair Carlton, has been asked to join the Thatcham Research ADAS Working Party to ensure the current Code of Practice remains fit for purpose as more calibrations are carried out.

Pete Marsden, managing director at National Windscreens, says: “The automotive industry is changing at a rapid pace. One of the greatest changes being seen is the increased use of ADAS, which will eventually see autonomous cars becoming mainstream.

“We welcome these increased safety features but as many rely on cameras or sensors, mounted on vehicle glazing or bodywork, drivers need to be aware that these systems will only continue to work as intended if they are correctly calibrated. This means that following a windscreen replacement, for example, it is critical to have the ADAS camera calibrated at the same time.

"National Windscreens has already carried out more than 15,000 calibrations and with 40% of vehicles on UK roads predicted to have ADAS fitted as standard by 2020, it expects this figure to continue to grow substantially year on year.

"Technicians at all 108 of the organisation’s fitting and calibration centres receive specialist calibration training verified by the NVQ awarding body, Glass Qualifications. This training is backed by calibration equipment and support provided by the world leading authority in this field, Hella Gutmann.

“To ensure our technical knowledge is always completely up to date, however, we also work closely with vehicle manufacturers to ensure we know exactly what is around the corner. That’s why I am delighted that we are now members of SMMT, which acts as the voice of the country’s automotive industry and helps to guide strategies affecting the sector,” Pete added.

Mike Hawes, chief executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “I’m delighted to welcome National Windscreens to become part of one of the UK’s most influential trade bodies and add to SMMT’s diversity and strength.

"The automotive industry is undergoing arguably the most significant change in its history, in terms of technology and the environment in which we manufacture and trade. Working together, we can share expertise and ensure our voice is heard to the benefit of businesses, their employees, consumers and the economy.”

Pete adds: “Our technical manager Alistair Carlton has more than 24 years’ experience within the auto glazing sector and forms part of the company’s long-term commitment to maintain technological advantage as the automotive glazing sector moves through this period of rapid change.

“The fact Alistair now sits on the Thatcham Research ADAS Working Party means he will be part of the group’s key role in ensuring the Code of Practice remains fit for purpose as the number of calibrations grow and, with them, raise new issues.

“It is now two years since Thatcham Research first launched a steering group to look into ADAS and, as the number of calibrations increases, we are discovering more and more issues so I welcome the fact we are now part of this working party, bringing experts in automotive glazing together to determine future direction.

“National Windscreens will then be able to share this knowledge with fleet and insurance markets so they are aware of how technological advances will impact on their own services,” he added.

Thomas Hudd, Repair Technology Centre operations manager, Thatcham Research, who is chairing the next ADAS working party said, “We welcome Alistair and the essential insights he and the National Windscreens team will bring to the ADAS working party group.”

Picture: Rob Roberts, regional training manager, carrying out ADAS camera calibration.