New I-CAR Vehicle Technology and Trends 2023 Course Helps Repairers Prepare for the Future

Photo courtesy of I-CAR.

With the growing number of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) on new vehicle models, it is becoming increasingly important for collision repairers to understand how they are designed and operate. This includes features on hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), especially since EVs are expected to account for nearly 33% of new vehicle sales in 2030, according to the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). 

“This helps assure that the system is functioning correctly after repairs are completed and before the vehicle is returned to the customer with a complete, safe and quality repair,” said Bud Center, I-CAR’s director of technical products and curriculum. 

Center said I-CAR’s Vehicle Technology and Trends 2023 course helps repairers learn about changes in the industry and to prepare for the future. The one-hour, online class includes information about new vehicle features and technology as well as electrical, mechanical and construction trends. Students can preview new and updated vehicle models for domestic, Asian and European imports, as well as some 2024 vehicle offerings.

The course also highlights resources created for technicians, such as the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support (RTS) webpage and the I-CAR Best Practice HV Disconnect/Initialization Feature document.

Based on OEM procedures, the RTS webpage shares information about the ADAS available on a vehicle, where the inputs are located and what events require calibration.

I-CAR’s best practice document, vetted by the industry, explains how to disable and test a vehicle to ensure it is safe to perform repairs. 

Autobody News reached out to Center for insight on the new course.

What prompted the creation of the Vehicle Technology and Trends 2023 course?  

Launched in 2017, I-CAR’s Vehicle Technology and Trends course is an annual course the I-CAR team develops to highlight new or updated vehicle models, new and evolving technologies, and trends we see that are common to one or more vehicle makers. An updated version of the class has been introduced every year since then to ensure the industry is ready for what’s around the corner.  

What makes this course unique and what are some of the highlights?

The Vehicle Technology and Trends 2023 course is valuable to all members of the collision repair industry. While many other training options are role- or task-specific, this course provides an overview of new vehicles, trends and technologies relevant to all collision repair professionals. With the Technical Tsunami™ we continue to face, the course offers insight into some developments collision repair professionals need to prepare for in their shops. It also offers a glimpse of 2024 vehicles, upcoming automotive technology and related repair considerations. Being a one-hour online course also makes it convenient and accessible to all learners. 

Why is it important for the industry to learn about vehicle technology to repair vehicles correctly? 

There are no shortcuts when performing complete, safe and quality repairs. Modern vehicles are equipped with a tremendous amount of technology and all segments of the industry need to be aware of this technology and the requirements to repair these vehicles properly. This begins with researching and understanding vehicle maker repair procedures and requirements, and keeping up with the latest technology and repair techniques. There is no wrong way to learn. You can succeed in this industry as long as you engage with the resources available and continue to push yourself to build upon your knowledge and skills.

Can you share information about the collaboration with OEMs?

I-CAR works with all segments of the industry, including OEMs, to help identify changes in vehicle design, repair techniques and technologies. Then we develop the educational programming to help ensure collision repair professionals have the information and training required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. This collaboration also helps us to understand how we can support their networks and reinforce the importance of seeking and following OEM procedures. We collaborate with OEMs in many ways, including developing custom training courses or specialized training programs, vehicle-specific training, and participation in I-CAR repairability summits. It’s a collaborative process from beginning to end. 

What would you like the industry to know about I-CAR’s Vehicle and Technology Specific Training™ portfolio of courses?

I-CAR offers a robust group of Vehicle and Technology Specific Training (VTST) courses. The Vehicle Technology and Trends course remains one of our most popular, with application to truly anyone in the automotive industry---from the front desk to the shop floor. Whether it’s the first I-CAR course you take or the 200th, you’ll find the information within the course valuable and relevant. 

Stacey Phillips Ronak

Stacey Phillips Ronak is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry and a regular columnist for Autobody News based in Southern California.

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