Designing and Installing Products to Ensure ADAS Compatibility

››› Exterior modifications such as aftermarket bumpers, valences, or even a simple vinyl wrap can degrade ADAS's ability to "see" through it, so sensor location needs to be taken into account before the installation takes place.

In a past issue of SEMA News, we reviewed a SEMA Education seminar that discussed the challenges and opportunities posed to the specialty-equipment market by the proliferation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on OE vehicles ("ADAS and The Art of Vehicle Customization," May 2022). In the article, we discussed the proper procedures to follow when lifting or lowering a vehicle. This article now takes a look at a follow-up session, "Modding Vehicles With ADAS," which aimed to provide insight for designers and manufacturers of exterior dress-up and bolt-on components who want to make sure their products are ADAS-compatible.

Hosted by Nick Dominato, senior vice president of product for Repairify, the session reviewed some basic ADAS features and what companies need to keep in mind when designing their products to work with ADAS, what restylers should know when installing them, and to ensure proper recalibration of those systems once installation is complete.

Working With Body Kits and Accessories

For this seminar, Dominato chose to focus on ADAS' park sensors and front and rear (blind spot) radar sensors—"areas where we typically add a front fascia, a grille guard or a front or rear bumper," he explains. This type of modification "typically doesn't affect the camera, but it does affect the park sensors and the radar sensors that are located behind the bumper."

Start with park sensors. According to Dominato, they are very susceptible to blockages. "Park sensors are typically not located behind the bumper, so if you don't put anything directly in front of them, they'll generally be fine."

The key components for accessorizers, then, are the radar sensors. These are
typically located either behind the bumpers, behind the grille or embedded in the taillight housings. As engineered, the sensors do have the ability to "see through" the factory plastic bumpers, but the bumper covers do affect the operation of the radar systems. Specifically, the sensors are designed to work with the OE bumper's outer fascia.

››› Metal objects that protrude a distance from the vehicle, such as a brush guard or winch bumper, present their own set of challenges, and designers and installers need to take the sensors' operating angles into consideration when R&D'ing exterior bolt-ons so as to minimize sensor interference.

How Modifications Affect ADAS

In short, placing something in front of the radar will affect the sensor in three ways:

Power Loss: "Automakers generally accept about a 10% reduction in range when they put a bumper cover in front of that radar sensor," Dominato said, and sensors are designed with that level of imperfection in mind.

Sensitivity Loss: Installing a body panel in front of the radar is going to create "noise" and interference that will reduce the sensitivity of the sensor on the margin. In terms of its ability to detect road objects, "that giant dump truck in front of you that weighs 15,000 lbs. won't matter," Dominato said, "We have to think on the margins—that marginal object with a smaller radar cross-section, that's going to be what's affected."

Wave Distortions: This can be affected by the shape of the bumper cover. A concave or other angular-shaped fascia, for instance, can distort the radar wave. "When the radar passes through plastic or metal, it will actually change the wave of the radar sensor if the bumper cover is angled because it changes the shape of the radar wave," Dominato explained. This can cause radar to "read" an object as being slightly to the left or right of its actual location.

Another key element: Radar performance can be degraded without launching an error code or engaging a dash light. "Just because adaptive cruise control works because it can 'see' that dump truck a hundred meters ahead, it doesn't mean it's going to work on the that marginal object." This could be a pedestrian exiting the curb or cyclist in a bike lane, both of which possess a much smaller cross-section for the radar system to identify."

The "Magic Area" and How to Work With It

When integrating aftermarket fascias, bumpers and exterior bolt-ons with ADAS systems, an important thing to take into consideration is the so-called "magic area" known as the radar projection area, i.e., the origin point of the radar signal. Manufacturers typically design their ADAS radar systems with an initial projection area of approximately 12x12 in. with the realization that the projection area increases as the radar signal emanates outward from the vehicle.

Starting with plastic components such as front fascias or bumpers, the key for aftermarket manufacturers is to design their products as close to identical to OE spec for material composition, thickness and curvature within the radar projection area. "You want to mimic the OEM bumper cover as best you can within that 12x12 projection area," Dominato recommended.

Metal components such as grille guards and winch bumpers pose a different challenge, and Dominato suggested the following steps: "The first thing to do is find out where the radar sensor is," which sounds easy enough until you realize there's no industry standardization for this, and that sensor location will vary by manufacturer.

"Sometimes it will be behind the emblem, or slightly offset from the emblem, and sometimes it's on the lower portion of the grille, and sometimes, as is the case with the Ford F-150, it's offset much lower to one side or the other," Dominato observed.

Next, apply the same "12x12" principle to the winch bumper as you would with a plastic fascia, with the aim of being as precise as possible in your measurements. "The OE manufacturers do not allow any sanding, filling, primer, welding or repair work at all within that radar projection area," Dominato emphasized. "So if plastic welding and Bondo aren't allowed within that radar area, imagine what happens when you place a piece of metal in front of it. It's going to cause a ton of interference."


Restyling & Car Care Accessories

As of August 15, 2023

ABM International Inc. 12724

Adam's Polishes 51281

Aeolus Industrial 12145

Alea Leather 51125

All-Fit Automotive 52072

American Modified 12545

American Standard Window Film 52107

Angel-GUARD Products Inc. 51053

Angelwax Inc. 54163

Anhui Glossonly Auto Products Co. Ltd. 12762

Apollo Window Film 12971

Arksci Technologies LLC 12161

Audly Car Accessories Co. Ltd. 12367

Auto Addict USA 12173

Autocap North America 51267

Autofiber 51169

Avery Dennison 52119

AZUTO 52278

B&B Blending 50127

BDK USA Inc. 50119

Bling Sauce World Class Care Products 12827

BLVD-LPF 53082

Braun Brush Co. 54169

Buff and Shine Manufacturing 51155

California Car Duster 54143

CalTrend Seat Covers-Robbins Auto Top-GAHH-E-Z On Auto Tops 54131

CarCandy Automotive Detail Products 12929

CarCapsule USA 54051

CARIGHT Tint & Wrap Tools Manufacturing Ltd. 52266

Ceramic Pro 52095


Changchun Zi Xin Auto Supplies Co. Ltd. 12641

Changzhou Bona Vehicle Parts Co. Ltd. 11350

Changzhou Desai Vehicle Accessories Co. Ltd. 12851

Changzhou Pengxiang Automobile Decoration Factory 54215

Changzhou Wenye Auto Lamp Co. Ltd. 12918

Changzhou Xinkai Auto Parts Co., Ltd 12131

Changzhou Yuhang Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12952

CHEERMO Films 12925

Chongqing Film One Sister Brand Management Co. Ltd. 11323

CleanyKorea Co. Ltd. 12748

ClearPro 11439

CMST Tuning–Carbon Fiber 12727

Coast to Coast International (CCI) 54063


Colourlock 54253

Concept Chemicals & Coatings Ltd. 12763

CONCO America 12553

Conergies Zhejiang New Material Technology Co. Ltd. 12442

CoolVu Auto Spa 52272

Coplus Inc. 12737

CovrGard 13049

CPI 0260 Supply 12121

Creathome Inc. 51277

Cynosura International Co. Ltd. 52276

Danyang Jinfeng Vehicle Technology Co. Ltd. 12345

Danyang Simai Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12648

Dash Designs Inc. 51055

Dawn Enterprises Inc. 52056

DC Safety Sales Co. Inc. 52052

Detail Guardz (Operated Under Nordica Plastics Ltd.) 51257

Detail Radius 12625

Diamond ProTech 12343

Dongsai (China) Car-styling Co. Ltd. 12326


DryceNation 12127

Dry Ice Energy 12852

DuraSlic 52263

Dynabrade 12517

Eagle Enterprises Inc. 52108

Eastman Performance Films LLC 52051

ECP Inc. 51079

Energizer Holdings Inc. 50273

Eureka Leather 12428

EVOLV 50263

ExoShield 51119

FariCars 50255

Fenyang Dingxin Films Technology Co. Ltd. 12659

Filink/Clif Designs 51063

Fireball Co. Ltd. 12937

FlexiShield 51091

Flex Power Tools 51131

Flink International Co. Ltd. 11451

FM Co. Ltd. 12422

Foshan Yuxi Automobile Technology Co. Ltd. 12249

Fujimi Corp. 52274

Full Throttle Wraps 12231

Fun Lines 51109

Fusion Tools 53271

GD JG Electronic Ltd. 13176

GlasWeld 55214

Gliptone 54073

Global Window Films 50139


GreenLight LLC 12964

Griot's Garage 52163

Grit Guard Inc. 54125

GS27 12438

GSUIT 54199

GSWF 52217

Gtechniq 54205

Guangdong Carbonss Tuning Co. Ltd. 12916

Guangdong Carlas Industrial Trade Co. Ltd. 12917

Guangdong Hantai Decoration Material Co. Ltd. 12468

Guangdong New Vision Film Co. Ltd. 55248

Guangzhou Carbins Film Co. Ltd. 11656

Guangzhou Cheyu Auto Technology Co,. Ltd. 12284

Guangzhou DCR Tuning Co. Ltd. 11549

Guangzhou Hongyi Zhiche Technology Co. Ltd. 13163

Guangzhou Huizhongxiuwai New Material Co. Ltd. 12974

Guangzhou Jiaji Automotive Accessories Co. Ltd. 12464

Guangzhou Jin Mai Ke Technology Co. Ltd. 13064

Guangzhou Joesong New Materials Technology Co. Ltd. 12617

Guangzhou Jubao Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. Ltd. 13143

Guangzhou Kaqidun Auto Accessories Co. Ltd. 13155

Guangzhou Laige Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 53086

Guangzhou Nick Automotive Film Co. Ltd. 12749

Guangzhou Smart Cool Plastic Film Co. Ltd. 13137

Guangzhou SunVision New Material Co. Ltd. 12976

Guangzhou Yajiu Composite Co. Ltd. 52267

Guangzhou YOUKISS Trade Co. Ltd. 12549

Guangzhou Youtai Car Accessories Co. Ltd. 12649

Guangzhou Yupeng Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 51221

Guangzhou ZhongTaiHuaXing Window Film Technology 12876

Guangzhou ZSMELL New Materials Technology Co. Ltd. 12920

Hangzhou Ruika Technology Co. Ltd. 12537

HEXIS 52185

HOHO 12444

Honey Combination 13059

Hubei Shine Guys Auto Accessories Co. Ltd. 13159

Huizhou Weika Composites Co. Ltd. 13082

Huntsman Gomet 13077

IGL Coatings 51185


Inozetek 50235

International Window Film Association 12365

IT'S WIN 12147

Ivios 12427

Jax Wax Car Care Products 54243, 54249

JC Sportline Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12261

Jiangsu Aerospace Sanyou Technology Co. Ltd. 53079

Jiangsu Biaokai Automotive Technology Co. Ltd. 11326

Jiangxi Kewei Solar Film Co. Ltd. 54147

Jingyi Men 11660

Johnson Window Films Inc. 50051

KAMIKAZE Collection 12673

Katzkin Leather Inc. 50105

KDX America 50159

KFC-TPU Film 12769

KIY Carbon Co. Ltd. 12186

KK Label Zhong Shan Inc. 54101

Koch-Chemie 54259


Lake Country/LC Power Tools 51235

Leather Repair Co. 12325

LEDIN Inc. 12773

LEGEND Paint Protection Film 52271

Luxury Sprinter Seats 12816

Madico Inc. 50083

Malco Automotive/Presta Products 54107

Maxpro Window Films 54153

Maxshine 52197

McLaren Car Care 13073

Mega Racer 13068

Mengzhou Yuxiangyun Auto Electronics Co. Ltd. 12817

MetroVac 54078

MGP Caliper Covers 54067 12337

Mimaki USA 12437

MOD.AL GROUP Inc. 24516


Monde Industrial Co. Ltd. 13145

M2 Machines 51109

Mutoh America Inc. 50173

NANOSKIN Car Care Products 52083

Nantong NKODA Polyurethane Technology Co. Ltd. 12443

NAR PPF 12255

Nasiol 53253

NiceWrap Inc. 11339

Ningbo Carbest International Trading Co. Ltd. 12968

Ningbo Chenfan Auto Accessories Co. Ltd. 12949

Ningbo Guhang Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. 13153

Ningbo Summer Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12474

Ningbo WB Auto Accessories Co. Ltd. 13141

Novsight Lighting Technology Inc. 12223

NXTZEN 12653

Odor Medicine/Aerosol Dyes 51083

Onyx Coating GmbH 13172

Opti-Coat 54087


Orexmotorsports 52078

OTOM Car Seat Covers 12155

OYA Carbon Co. Ltd. 12416

Pacific Rim & Trim International 54119

P&S Detail Products 51147

Pan Taiwan Enterprise Co. Ltd. 53090

Paracoat 12872


Po Kai 11446

Poya-Tech Co. Ltd. 12864

Pressure On Demand Systems LLC 52079


PRO Cup Challenge 50185

Professional Detailing Products 12948

Profilm 12417

Proje Car Care Products 12230

Project Autoparts_ONYX 12858

Protec Window Film 53083


Quzhou Longding Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12716

The Rag Co. 54175

RAGGTOPP/Wolfsteins Pro-Series 52172

Rasco Industries Inc. 12645

Rayno Window Film 12459

RestorFX 54265

Restylers International 52050

Rev Auto Car Care 11255

Revivify Coatings 51261


Rhopoint Americas Inc. 12875

Ruff Tuff Products 54079

Ruian City Qianchuan Auto Accessories 51269

Ruian Fairdeal International Trading Co. Ltd. 12849

Ruian Tianlong Trading Co. Ltd. 12317

RUPES S.p.A. 52171

SB3 Coating 51245

SeaSucker 54185

SeatbeltPlanet 54086


Shanghai Ho Chi Technology Co. Ltd. 51217

Sharpline Converting Inc. 51141

Shenzhen Gulin Power Technology Co. Ltd. 13070

Shenzhen Jinfengchi Technology Co. Ltd. 13139

Shenzhen Vinstar Photoelectricity Co. Ltd. 51211

Shenzhen Zeal Optoelectronic Technology Co. Ltd. 51273

Shiniest Industries Inc. 51051


SlipStream Pro 12877

S.M. Arnold Inc. 54082

SNC Tuning 12859

Solar Gard 50097

Solink International Manufactures Co. Ltd. 52089

SONAX-Premium Car Care 52131

Sourcemost USA Inc. 12359

STEK 52205

Stinger Chemical 51163

Stoner Car Care 51227

Sulameder PPF and Window Film 12953

Suzhou Moxi International Trade Co. Ltd. 12823

Swift Response LLC Flex Seal 50165

Symplex USA 51085

System X 52241

Tai Tsun Co. Ltd. 12819

Taizhou Huangyan Carbo Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12644

Taizhou Huangyan Maorong Plastic Mould Co. Ltd. 53087

TCJC USA Inc. 13072

Teckwrap 51205

Texas Microfiber Inc. 12765

Thermalblade LLC 51177

3D Products/Hi-Tech Industries 50149

3M 50059

Tianmei Auto Seat Cover Co. Ltd. 53262

Tiger Frontier International Inc. 12470

Tonyin Car Care 12627

Top Design Commercial Inc. 11455

TOPS GmbH 11251

Tornador Tools 51073

TouchUp RX Paint Chip Repair Systems 51279

ToughGuard High Performance Coatings LLC 12462

Trim Illusion Inc. 51191

TWN Industries 52084


Umbrella TPU 12959

UPPF 52229


Veleo International Inc. 12375

VONIXX Car Care Products 12331

Vortex Sprayliners 54057

Vyper Industrial 53263

WABAM 12631

WD-40 Brand 50091

WELLvisors 52168

Wenzhou Anke Auto Accessories Co. Ltd. 12873

Wenzhou Hongyuan Auto Parts Technology Co. Ltd. 12363

Wenzhou Jelin Auto accessories Co. Ltd. 12341

Wenzhou XunYuan Auto Parts Co. Ltd. 12446

Wet Okole Hawaii 54095

Whirlwind Tools Co. Ltd. 52270

Window Film Magazine & PPFMag 52058

Wintech Window Films 50073

Wipe New/Rust-Oleum 50223

WrapCut 54088

WrapGlove/Wastegate 51199

XPEL Inc. 52065

ZEALIO 53088

Zhejiang Burley Tools Co. Ltd. 13161

Zhejiang So-Fine Self-Adhesive Products Co. Ltd. 12139

Zhongshan Aokai Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. Ltd. 52087