SEMA News—July 2019

ADAS Update: Ripe for Collaboration

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

We’ve written before about the industry-wide challenge posed by advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and how such systems present both opportunities and challenges for the specialty aftermarket. Consumer demand and the opportunity for car makers to distinguish their newest models is driving rapid deployment and, indeed, the systems are bringing significant real-world benefits by reducing injuries and accidents.

However, the diversity and complexity of these systems on new cars and trucks will test the ability of both the repair and specialty products industries to respond and adapt. Procedures for repairing a bumper equipped with lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors, for example, vary widely depending on make, model, supplier and even trim level. Customizing and new-product development are becoming more complex on cars with safety systems based on cameras, ultrasonics, radar and lidar contained in headlights, taillights, grilles, tailgates, mirrors, window glass, bumpers and body panels. More than 60 million ADAS-equipped vehicles are on U.S. roads today.

In an effort to help the industry size up the challenges ahead, SEMA recently conducted three industry gatherings (our ADAS forums) in Detroit, Michigan; Diamond Bar, California; and Dallas, Texas. Nearly 200 representatives of SEMA-member companies as well as industry experts from multiple market segments have participated. Those events were structured as active learning and listening opportunities for members to share concerns and experiences.

Our most recent event—hosted by repair industry provider asTech at its headquarters and calibration center in Dallas—brought a wide variety of aftermarket stakeholders into one room, yielded a broad inventory of specific needs, and provided an opportunity to compare notes and consider best practices.

One key conclusion from the forums is that ADAS affects nearly all aftermarket companies to some degree, and that realization has led to the development of collaborative relationships across the aftermarket industry.

To date, relationships and projects have been established with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association/Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Equipment & Tool Institute, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, and the Auto Care Association.

The primary objective of this cross-association initiative is to combine our knowledge, resources and relationships and to develop a collective aftermarket industry voice to address the challenges and opportunities ADAS poses for our members.

With the input and information gathered through the ADAS forums, our industry collective is now equipped to support a variety of projects and workgroups. One such effort—SEMA’s ADAS Benchmarking Project—seeks to document sensor locations, sensor suppliers and operational details for some of the ’19 models that are key to the SEMA market. That kind of work is a first step that will grow to be a more comprehensive catalog over time. It will also generate the type of information that will help our cross-association efforts in providing needed resources for functional and regulatory compliance of aftermarket-modified vehicles.

Meetings have already been held in Detroit with chief engineers and vehicle line executives at Ford, GM and FCA to communicate the outcomes of the forums and request adding ADAS technology specifications to SEMA’s Tech Transfer service and vehicle measuring sessions.

We expect the work on ADAS to be a long journey. Important public-policy questions around vehicle technologies such as cyber security and information privacy are already being discussed. Staying ahead of the curve will require strong collaborative relationships between all of the aftermarket stakeholders.

A webpage has been created on the SEMA Garage website that contains the latest information on this topic and offers an opportunity to download the free SEMA Advanced Vehicle Technology Opportunity Study ( It will be continuously updated as we gain more information.

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