Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

SEMA News—April 2019


By Mike Imlay

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Is the Aftermarket Prepared?

Kaleb Silver, Hunter Engineering’s director of product management, demonstrated the procedures for recalibrating the steering-angle sensor on a ’19 Chevy Silverado at the SEMA ADAS Briefing Vehicle Review. He was one of several industry experts participating in the all-day member discissions and vehicle reviews.

The impact of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is already being felt by the automotive specialty-equipment and collision-repair industries, raising new challenges and opportunities. In this interview, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak shares some frontline insights regarding the current state of aftermarket preparedness, along with association efforts to educate and ready businesses for the rapid changes they face.

SEMA News: The SEMA Board of Directors has made ADAS readiness a top priority. How are we moving forward on this strategic vehicle technology initiative?

John Waraniak: The SEMA Board recognizes that the automotive industry is moving in new directions. Advanced vehicle technologies are rapidly changing how cars are designed, developed, manufactured, customized, sold, serviced, shared and owned. ADAS is one of the most rapidly evolving technologies impacting the performance aftermarket, and the United States will dominate the global ADAS market, accounting for more than 34% volume share by 2024.

SEMA is addressing new business opportunities for aftermarket ADAS manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Those are documented in our “SEMA Advanced Vehicle Technology Opportunity Study” and a series of 12 SEMA News articles released during the past year describing each of the ADAS technologies and their respective business and product-development opportunities for members. The ADAS report and articles, which are available online at our SEMA Garage Vehicle ADAS page (, have had more than 31,000 page reads and have helped to accelerate the deployment of passive aftermarket ADAS products.

We are also addressing the new challenges for customizing and modifying vehicles with factory-installed ADAS technologies and helping members to customize with confidence while maintaining the functional conformance and regulatory compliance of modified vehicles.

It’s important to note that ADAS technologies are both passive and active safety performance technologies developed to warn drivers or automate vehicle systems for safer driving. Electronic stability control—one of the first active ADAS technologies deployed—is now standard equipment on every new light-duty truck and car produced in the United States.

Ford Co-Pilot360 will add advanced safety features across the automaker’s lineup. Automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning will be standard on most Ford vehicles by 2020.

Many factory-installed ADAS technologies, sensors and software are already onboard the most popular vehicles being modified by SEMA members, and ADAS has been a key topic of our Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminars at the SEMA Show for several years. Our ADAS Forums and networking opportunities are helping SEMA companies understand how ADAS and advanced vehicle technologies are impacting their products, installations
and businesses.

In addition to our ADAS Forums, we have held two comprehensive, all-day ADAS Briefings and Vehicle Reviews with SEMA members and partners—one in November at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and a second in January at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. A third will be held in May in Plano, Texas.

The purpose of the briefings is to actively listen to members and identify the immediate concerns that ADAS technologies raise for them. A representative cross section of impacted members has participated in these active-learning briefings, along with several industry associations and ADAS and cybersecurity experts from across the country.

We’re working on resources, guidelines, best practices and tools so that aftermarket performance products can be successfully integrated with the latest factory-installed ADAS and advanced safety performance technologies. We’re also developing an ADAS Benchmarking Project to document four of the most popular vehicles modified by SEMA members for ADAS sensor location, operation, supplier, etc., as well as guidelines for integrating members’ products and modifications on those vehicles.

SN: What are some quick examples of the impact the aftermarket is already feeling from the rapid deployment of ADAS?

JW: Most automakers have recalibration requirements for ADAS sensors and technologies such as automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning systems following a repair or maintenance procedure such as an alignment of the vehicle wheels, a suspension component repair or a windshield replacement. Wheel alignment adjustments are a common aftermarket procedure, since wheel and tire performance upgrades are one of the most popular aftermarket modifications, so clearly there’s an impact. Hunter Engineering is one of the SEMA companies we’re working with to develop ADAS recalibration procedures and best practices for aftermarket-modified vehicles. At our recent ADAS Briefing and Vehicle Review at the SEMA Garage, Kaleb Silver, Hunter’s director of product management, demonstrated how to reset the steering angle sensor after a wheel alignment or wheel and tire upgrade.

Even minimal damage to a bumper or body panel that includes an ADAS camera, sensor or safety system component requires testing or recalibration of safety systems, and aftermarket companies aware of ADAS systems and their operation can still face difficulty verifying or diagnosing system functionality. Most vehicles have 10 to 12 malfunction indicator lights available on the instrument panel or display to alert to any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). But vehicles today can generate up to 1,500 DTCs, and many could remain undetected due to a new product installation or vehicle modification. We’re working with asTech, a group that specializes in remote diagnostics for automotive shops, to provide OEM diagnostic tools to member companies that may not have expert-level electronics technicians to work on ADAS-equipped vehicles and receive advice from master technicians.

SN: SEMA has also collaborated with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) for several years. What projects is the association tackling with that organization and other industry partners?

  ADASJake Rodenroth, director of industry relations at asTech, demonstrated ADAS sensor operation and the latest ADAS diagnostic scanning tools and resources available to members for the ’18 RAM 1500 at the recent briefing.

JW: Our relationship with SCRS is outstanding. Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg and I have worked together on joint SEMA-SCRS panel sessions and the annual SCRS OEM Technology Summit to introduce members to the tools and procedures that collision-repair professionals use to restore vehicle functionality.

SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision-repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair vehicles. They are at the front line of emerging technology trends, and many of their tools, procedures and practices for recalibrating ADAS sensors can be used to demonstrate functional compliance in aftermarket-modified vehicles.

We’re also working with the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing repair professionals with the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. Our goal is to help SEMA members access the latest information and training courses that address ADAS camera and sensor calibration, inspection and initialization requirements, along with requirements for blind-spot and parking-assist systems and steering-angle sensor diagnostics
and recalibration.

SCRS and I-CAR are providing SEMA members with OEM service information on the latest ADAS technologies and how to use it in the context that the OEM intended. SEMA members that manufacture performance products, install accessories or make modifications to vehicles that effect ADAS sensors and software need to understand OEM procedures and tools for service and calibration of ADAS features and system operation.

We are also developing collaborative relationships and coordinating projects with several other industry associations, including the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, and the Equipment & Tool Institute.

SN: How is SEMA addressing concerns that the aftermarket is increasingly locked out of OEM systems and

JW: ADAS is not like onboard diagnostics. It’s completely safety oriented and carries a litigation potential that automotive service and customization professionals have never had to deal with. ADAS helps prevent injury and death, so safety performance is a fast-emerging segment within the aftermarket and a key brand differentiator with automakers. For example, Ford has Co-Pilot360 and Toyota has Safety Sense (TSS), which are bundles of active safety features designed to help protect drivers and passengers from harm. Consumers are also increasingly demanding
such systems.

We recently met in Detroit with OEM leaders responsible for product development and the vehicle side of the business. It’s very clear that the automakers are preparing for major disruptive technologies and transformative changes in the auto business. They need to keep one foot in the present to sell the cars and trucks they are currently making, but they also need to keep one foot in the future with vehicle electrification and automated
driving, which will significantly push product boundaries.

SEMA members can help proactively drive the industry’s transformation by advocating how ADAS systems are helpful for drivers who have trouble reacting to unexpected situations on the road and drivers who are distracted by things like digital devices. Meanwhile, the automakers’ product development efforts are also exemplified by General Motors’ “Triple Zero” vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Zero crashes is being led by ADAS technologies; zero congestion by autonomous technologies and GM Cruise; and the road to zero emissions includes dynamic fuel management, active thermal management and variable intake lift.

Cybersecurity is especially a challenge. Today’s cars have about 100 million lines of software code, and for every 1,800 lines of code, there is a bug or flaw, which translates into 55,000 bugs and, even more importantly, about 5,000 security vulnerabilities. Coding integrates across several surfaces, including vehicle electronic control units, infotainment, telematics and ADAS gateways. Most OEMs are taking a “walled-garden” approach to harden factory ECU settings and allow only authorized modifications while locking out unauthorized hackers. Karamba offers a solution for ECU protection, from defense technologies like ECU hardening to the encryption of CAN messaging. They also offer security consulting services, including testing and components threat analysis and services that expose ECUs to the hackers during development to gain insights of code vulnerabilities before the car hits the road.

It’s important for SEMA members to understand how cybersecurity is being designed into vehicles so that they develop performance products and accessories that don’t compromise it. If members have a product or innovation that does need to interface with the vehicle’s cybersecurity systems, the member can propose to the OEM how that innovation can be safely integrated into the vehicle and validated through standards such as ISO 26262, an international standard for functional safety of electrical and electronic systems defined in 2011.

Ami Dotan, CEO and founder of Karamba Security, helps SEMA members understand how the latest automotive cybersecurity measures are being designed into today’s vehicles.

SN: So what’s the bottom line for SEMA members grappling with these new technologies?

JW: Here’s a contemporary scenario we can all relate to:

“We may very well wake up some morning five years from now and realize that there’s no one left to buy our performance products because younger drivers are less interested in driving and our industry has been legislated away by safety, fuel-efficiency and vehicle emissions regulations. The performance aftermarket needs to be at the forefront of a concerted effort by the entire auto industry to protect consumers against legislation that would outlaw vehicle modifications. Manufacturers of performance equipment need to get together and start testing their products and understanding their impact on vehicle emissions and safety performance.”

That quote was taken directly from pages printed 48 years ago in the January 1971 issue of High Performance News & Products, the predecessor of today’s SEMA News!

Today’s situation is no different than it was then. Many fear that ADAS and autonomous driving systems signal the demise of the specialty-equipment industry, or that tighter federal safety, emissions and fuel-efficiency standards will eliminate performance vehicles and parts from America’s roadways. It’s simply not true.

The specialty-equipment industry has always faced challenges from complex vehicle technologies, federal regulations, systems integration and safety considerations. SEMA is the intersection of cars and culture. For years, we’ve helped to socialize speed and performance, and now we can help socialize safety performance and make smarter cars cool. Next-generation enthusiasts were born online, raised on technology and want the coolest but smartest cars possible. The challenge is how effectively we integrate these new systems and technologies into vehicles and consumer lifestyles. The smartest SEMA companies always find innovative ways to address advanced technologies, and SEMA’s vehicle technology department is continually working to assist their efforts with programs, real solutions and collaborative relationships between automakers, suppliers, technology providers, industry associations and other member companies.

Visit the SEMA Vehicle Technology ADAS Resource Guide online at to learn more about ADAS opportunities.

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