As the 2017 auto shows and technology expos wind down, two common themes appear to have taken the floor: voice activated everything, and the onset of artificial intelligence. While both have started to make their way into newer vehicle models, these aren’t the only technologies presenting auto body repairers with new challenges. Vehicle complexity has been growing for some time and it’s something auto body shops prepare themselves for every day.
What makes a repair more complex than ever before?
- Alternative Materials Usage
In an effort to meet fuel efficiency standards, the use of alternative materials, known as substrates is on the rise in new vehicles. Common substrates include plastic, carbon fiber, and aluminum, among other materials.
- More Safety Equipment on Board
There was a time, decades ago when airbags were an optional upgrade. Today, many newer models come equipped with over 10 airbags including: side impact, torso, curtain, knee, cushion, and even seat belt airbags.
- Accident Avoidance Technology
Driver assisted braking and assisted steering features are only possible through the placement of cameras and sensors throughout a vehicle. These sensors appear in bumpers, quarter panels, and other common components frequently impacted by collisions.
How are Auto Body Shops Staying Ahead?
Industry-leading auto body shops, including ABRA Auto Body & Glass, are tackling the challenge head on; modifying processes, updating facilities, training staff, and equipping themselves to expertly and safely repair any vehicle make or model that comes off the show room floor.
Being prepared to repair today’s newest vehicles means creating dedicated work spaces to handle substrate materials, investing in scanning tools, recalibration capabilities, and new tools and equipment to get the job done. Auto body shops are also training their technicians through partnerships with industry recognized organizations such as I-CAR.
What it comes down to is the ability to adapt to change, something industry-leading auto body shops constantly prepare themselves for.