I-CAR Chicago Technical Center takes shape

March 17, 2022
I-CAR continues to develop world-class, mission-centric facility for the inter-industry
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As construction of the 48,000-sq.-ft. Chicago Technical Center (CTC) in Vernon Hills moves forward, another tangible symbol of I-CAR’s 43-year-old mission is unfolding for the collision repair inter-industry, explained I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne.

“I-CAR’s mission is to deliver increasingly accessible, on-demand and relevant education, knowledge, services and solutions for the collision repair inter-industry, and our new tech center, which will feature a world-class environment, represents a truly innovative, leading and progressive approach to our mission-centric work that will benefit all industry segments,” Van Alstyne said.

Slated to open later this year, the CTC expands on the expert foundational technical resources and programming footprint provided through I-CAR’s Appleton, WI Technical Center, which is also slated to receive renovations this year. Van Alstyne explained that both the CTC and Appleton projects will share a consistent look and will, more importantly, reflect enhancements designed to improve the quality, safety and health of the environments for I-CAR staff and visitors.

“The I-CAR brand represents technical excellence and leadership, and this expansion of our technical resources, capabilities and capacity further reinforces our commitment,” he said.

Added Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Vice President, Technical Products, Programs and Services, “The CTC will offer enhanced levels of accessibility for industry partners and learners, with dedicated areas for ADAS, Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, welding and repair procedure research, as well our research into rapidly growing and emerging technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality).

"The CTC is being constructed as a purpose-built facility, featuring an intentionally flexible ‘work lab’ approach, allowing us to respond quickly and precisely to future and emerging technologies as these continue to accelerate, all which translates into increasingly complex repair solutions,” Peevy said.

Another benefit will be the CTC’s ability to evolve and change to meet the emerging needs of future learners, virtually and in-person.

"Located approximately 30 minutes from O’Hare International Airport, the CTC will provide increased accessibility to I-CAR’s industry partners,“ Peevy said.

Among the CTC’s offerings:

  • The Learning Design Studio, complete with digital walls, will be a CTC hallmark, showcasing the latest in educational technologies and innovations to improve the learner experience.
  • In addition to dedicated ADAS and EV labs, a specialized “Flex Lab” will accommodate customized industry research & training needs.
  • The site will contain controlled environment variations for performing ADAS calibrations enabling comprehensive research. Six EV charging stations are also featured.
  • The facility is being designed to provide the backdrop for future virtual reality opportunities.
  • The CTC will serve as a best-in-class learning hub for industry workshops and live classes as well serving as a Chicagoland training site for I-CAR.

Jim Guthrie, president of Car Crafters and vice chair of the I-CAR board of directors, underscored the CTC’s value and benefit: “I-CAR continues to lead the industry forward through the ‘technical tsunami’, and the CTC represents a massive collaboration with inter-industry partners to reimagine the future of training solutions amid one of the most transformative eras of our history. This is an investment by I-CAR in the industry’s future to drive us all forward, and I couldn’t be prouder of this effort.”

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