BOISE – Winter is a season of slippery roads, skids, and fender-benders, and if your vehicle is involved in a crash, repairs to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) will represent a substantial portion of your repair bill.

According to new research by AAA, fixing the sensors and cameras that help advanced vehicles “see” the road could make up, on average, more than a third (38%) of the total repair cost.

As part of its research, AAA gathered cost estimates for three 2023 model year vehicles in four different repair scenarios.  On average:

  • Replacing ADAS components in a minor front-end collision was $1,540 – about 13% of the total repair cost.
  • Nearly 71% of the repair cost ($1,067) of a side-view mirror repair was directly related to the ADAS camera inside.
  • Replacing ADAS components after a minor rear-end crash was $684 – about 40% of the average total repair estimate of $1,698.
  • The cost of windshield replacement attributable to ADAS made up 25% ($360) of the total repair cost of $1,440.

“The technology is growing by leaps and bounds, but the more sophisticated a system is, the more expensive it may be to repair, replace, and re-calibrate after a collision,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “When the system is working properly, it’s an amazing resource for drivers.  But if it isn’t repaired as needed, it could misread its surroundings and become more of a hindrance than a help.”

ADAS uses a combination of LIDAR and RADAR sensors, and cameras, to help the vehicle maintain an appropriate lane position and to enhance safety.  Most new cars are equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking, and many are also equipped with Lane Keeping Assistance or Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Adaptive Cruise Control, among other technologies.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, there were more than 19,000 crashes in 2022 that resulted in at least $1,500 in damages, a 2% increase from the previous year.  There were 1,511,000 registered vehicles in the Gem State that year, a 4.5% increase from 2021.

In AAA’s research for the three vehicles selected, the cost of individual ADAS components (parts, labor, and calibration) for the four repair scenarios ranged from a low of $290 to a high of $1,596.  These costs were over and above the normal bodywork that would be required after a collision:

ComponentApplicationCost Range
Front radar sensorsAutomatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control$500-$1,300
Front camera sensorsAutomatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance$600-800
Side mirror sensor/camera packageAround-view systems$740-$1,600
Windshield camera sensorLane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection$900-$1,200
Front or rear ultrasonic sensorsParking assist systems$300-$1,000

AAA’s vehicle repair/purchase advice

  • Do your homework.  Make sure you understand how much a new vehicle will cost to insure, operate, maintain, and repair.  Use AAA’s Your Driving Costs calculator to set a budget.
  • If your vehicle is damaged, even in a small collision, have it checked to ensure that sensors, cameras, and other components are still working properly.
  • Always take your car to a trusted repair shop.  Ask if the facility has the professional training and equipment to perform the work.  It’s usually a good idea to have the shop perform something small, like an oil change, to try out their work before a big repair is needed.
  • Look for a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility that has already been independently evaluated for service and quality.

“Please keep in mind that advanced driver assistance systems, as the name suggests, assist an engaged driver,” Conde said.  “There’s no vehicle on the market today that can take the place of someone who is attentive and focused behind the wheel.”