Windscreen aftermarket needs to prepare

Vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) featuring windscreen cameras are bringing major challenges and opportunity according to the Automotive Glazing Academy (AGA).

Newly rebranded, AGA (previously IWA) is the UK’s foremost industry-wide provider of auto-glazing training and accreditation. AGA has begun working with industry partners to educate and up-skill the sector on the issue.

According to Maria Charlton, director of AGA, skills training, investment in recalibration equipment, including camera and sensor calibration (CSC) diagnostic tools and consumer marketing are all areas that the aftermarket sector needs to address quickly.

Maria explained, ‘The sophistication of ADAS has taken smart glass to a whole new level which brings both challenge and opportunity to the whole aftermarket. Businesses need to understand the implications of working on vehicles with cameras and ensure they have the necessary skills base and equipment if they intend to offer recalibration as a safety critical service. It’s paramount that customers are advised of this after certain work is carried out.’

On the matter of insurance for vehicles with the latest windscreens, Maria said, ‘ADAS windscreens can cost insurance companies thousands to replace so we expect to see a significant rise in the windscreen excess during the next couple of years, as more replacements filter through. Alternatively, we may see insurers scrap the excess altogether, in favour of adding glass cover to the main policy.’

Industry estimates put the level of windscreen replacements involving ADAS-equipped cars in 2014 at about one per cent. This is predicted to surge to over 40% by 2020.