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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


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Monday, 08 April 2019 22:19

New Car Technology Benefits Drivers, But How Does It Affect Body Shops?

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Tesla is constantly developing features associated with autonomous cars; Audi has always been a front runner and Mercedes has some interesting new stuff as well. I travel around the country a lot, so I get to play with all of the new technology, especially when it comes to the self-driving and safety stuff, and I am very surprised and impressed at what KIA and Hyundai are doing. Their lane departure technology seems to be fairly advanced in comparison to others. The supercruise systems from GM and Cadillac are up there with advancements, and Ford is focusing more on the technology in their SUVs and trucks where they've developed a system that gives Ford truck drivers (blind spot) trailer coverage, so that the driver can look further and wider with their backup systems. The radar is in the tail light so if you back into something, it's more than just replacing the light.


Carmakers are also further developing new facial recognition systems that deal with the driver's eyes and where they're looking and also by monitoring the position of the steering wheel. The ADAS system will attempt to steer the vehicle between the lanes, but if it doesn't detect some kind of minimum resistance from your hands on the wheel or if it detects that you're looking down and not at the road ahead. These systems are going to alert drivers with haptic messages that will cause the steering wheel or the seats to vibrate in order to alert the driver. Some of the OEMs are also working on heart rate monitors, so we will likely see a lot of new systems leveraging that.


Q: By 2025, will a large percentage of the costs associated with a collision repair be more involved with software calibrations as opposed to actual paint and R & I?


A: Absolutely. Front collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, as well as all of the cameras, sonar, radar and LiDAR are all now connected to some of the braking and wheel speed sensors, brake pressure, electronic power steering, and all of these are reporting.

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