I-CAR's Chicago Tech Center to expand technical expertise, capacity & capabilities

Feb. 3, 2022
I-CAR's second technical center will serve as a catalyst for advanced research and development
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I-CAR recently announced plans to significantly expand its technical expertise, capacity and capabilities, providing new infrastructures to support the ongoing creation and delivery of relevant and best-in-class education for the collision repair Inter-industry amid an era of extraordinary vehicle technology change. 

A hallmark of the expansion plan, which is underway, includes the addition of a second technical center in the Chicagoland area to serve as a catalyst for advanced research and development, uniquely reflecting the ongoing and emerging technology complexities associated with Electric Vehicles (EVs), Hybrid Vehicles (HV), Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS) and beyond. The new site will expand upon and complement I-CAR’s existing technical center in Appleton, Wisconsin.  

Commitment to technical leadership  

“I-CAR is continuously evolving and pro-actively seeking to provide relevant technical leadership for the industry, reflective of the current and future technical demands the industry has begun to see over recent years,” said John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO & president. “This expansion is a direct byproduct of I-CAR’s mission statement, which we truly live: to deliver increasingly accessible, on-demand and relevant education, knowledge, services and solutions for the Collision Repair Inter-Industry.” 

Added Jeff Peevy, I-CAR vice president of Technical Products, Programs & Services: “Technology continues to redefine the future of collision repair and this expansion allows us to achieve our vision and mission-driven work in tangible, intentional ways to prepare our industry for the future.” 

Mirroring future needs of the inter-industry 

In particular, Peevy noted that approximately 115 new EV models are expected to hit the road over the next 30 months, requiring new knowledge and skills, plus more demands on shop space requirements for required tools, equipment, and safety. Ongoing collision repair research and training development to repair these complex vehicles will be paramount, he added. 

“The complexity of new vehicles continues to influence the scale, scope and approach of our training curriculum, requiring new technical knowledge, skill sets and additional resources to properly manage our growing and more sophisticated product and service portfolio,” Peevy said. 

The Chicagoland location will provide enhanced levels of accessibility for industry partners and learners, with dedicated areas for ADAS, Telematics, Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, including commercial delivery vans, also research into emerging educational technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), Peevy said, adding that the facility will deepen OEM technical collaboration in these technical areas, with more focus on Vehicle Technology Specific Training, real-time videos and custom training solutions. The new location will also host industry workshops and live classes for not only technicians but vocational students as well, serving as a Chicagoland north fixed training site for I-CAR. 

“The industry is at an exciting crossroads of dynamic change driven by nonstop innovation, repair complexity and technology advancements,” said Kyle Thompson, I-CAR Chair, Board of Directors and Assistant Vice President, USAA. “I-CAR remains passionate in leading the industry forward, in responsible, relevant and robust ways, and we couldn’t be more excited to take this bold step forward, together, with the inter-industry. We are truly making I-CAR more relevant and valuable for the industry as we look to our collective future.” 

Reprinted with permission from I-CAR. First posted here: https://info.i-car.com/onlinemagazine/CollisionReporter_The-Safety-Issue/#page=1 

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