Belron Canada, a major player in the automotive glass repair segment, is pushing for Canadian regulations to encourage greater adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as well as regulations for automotive service professionals.
Belron operates outlets and services under the Speedy Glass, Lebeau Vitres d’auto, DURO, Apple Auto Glass, Standard Auto Glass and Broco Auto Glass banners.
According to Belron Canada in its recent white paper The Hidden Link Between Windshields and Road Safety, 94% of car accidents are attributed to driving mistakes; most of which ADAS would help prevent if this technology was fully deployed. In fact, fully automated vehicles and those equipped with ADAS could together reduce up to 80% of car collisions and deaths due to car accidents2.
“With a new Parliament in Ottawa, we need to act now to improve our road safety record,” said Sylvie Leduc, Vice-President Brand & Customer Promise at Belron Canada. “The Towards zero vision which was set in 2001 will never become reality if Ottawa does not tap into the numerous advantages of ADAS and safety catalysts. New vehicles simply need to be more technological, but that same technology needs to be properly maintained and calibrated,” Mrs. Leduc said.
The Standing Senate Committee on Transports and Communications in their report Driving Change: The Technology and the Future of the Automated Vehicle agrees: these types of vehicles could in fact nearly prevent all deaths or injuries related to road traffic if at least 75% of car users were to adopt these vehicles. Yet, says the information, Canada lags behind. 30% of United Kingdom’s car fleet was equipped with ADAS in 2018; by the end of 2020, only 20% of Canada’s car fleet will be so.
“Not only is there no obligation prescribing the use of these safety features as is the case for seat belts and air bags, but there is also no framework regulating the maintenance of such safety systems,” says the release from Belron. “For instance, the forward-facing digital camera that is essential to certain types of ADAS has to be calibrated properly before being used if the windshield has been either repaired or changed. If no or improper maintenance is being done on the digital camera, consequences could go from deactivation to improper functioning that would cause the very consequences it was meant to mitigate.
“Canada’s vehicle fleet equipped with the forward-facing digital camera is already 21%. Yet, the federal government hasn’t put together a comprehensive regulatory framework overseeing the use of ADAS modern safety features.”
Belron is urging Ottawa to act on the recommendations of the Standing Senate Committee on Transports and Communications and follow the European example. “As of 2022, all new cars in Europe shall be equipped with advanced safety systems such as lane-keeping assistance and emergency braking, which are already mandatory features on buses and trucks as of today.
“Time is of the essence. It is time to include more technology with the right maintenance regulations. Not only will it tackle the human cost related to road traffic, but also its inherent economic costs. Per year, the road safety record’s estimated total cost is $37 billion, or 2.2% of Canada’s total GDP.”