Get Ready, Shops, for Rising Tech Trends

Jan. 20, 2021
Takeaways from this year's annual Consumer Electronics Show for collision repairers include advanced cruise control and pending regulations for wholly autonomous cars.

Jan. 20, 2021—Representatives from Intel, General Motors, Mobileye, and more gathered virtually last week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show where they debuted the newest and boldest vehicle models, and the technologies behind them. 
The three-day event, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, set the bar high with flying concept ‘cars’ and electrified delivery trucks. 
Shop workers still have a few years, or decades, to prepare for flying cars, but there are a few crucial trends on the rise for which shops need to prepare.

ADAS Tech: Super Cruise

During the virtual show, General Motors’ chief electric vehicle officer, Travis Hester, debuted the automaker’s latest advanced driver assistance system—Super Cruise.
Super Cruise, more complex than standard cruise control, functions using a driver attention system to monitor a driver’s behavior and level of attentiveness. Super Cruise functions using sensors outside the vehicle to maintain appropriate speeds, but also inside the vehicle to safeguard the driver. 
Hester said by 2023 Super Cruise will be available in 22 different GM vehicles. Shops that service GM vehicles should take note now, or risk being caught unprepared in the near future. 

New Vehicle Sensor Tech 

During a virtual tour of a garage lab in Israel, Amnon Shushua, senior vice president of intel, and chief executive officer of Mobileye, announced the company’s creation of new vehicle sensors. 
The new sensor, Lidar SoC, puts both active and passive elements into a single silicon chip. The sensors will not make their debut until around 2025, but shop workers should keep an eye on the changing technology, because it’s only a matter of time before it’s in their garage. 
Sensors are becoming increasingly more common on today’s vehicles with added ADAS features, and that’s why, when it comes to learning new technology, you can never be too prepared. As soon as next year, Mobileye plans to launch its first fleet of autonomous robo-taxis—which will have to be repaired somewhere. 

Still not convinced?

To be “fully autonomous” a vehicle must reach what’s termed the fifth level of autonomy, which means it is capable of performing all necessary tasks under any circumstances. Currently, there is not an autonomous vehicle that operates at level five autonomy, but that won’t always be the case. 
Finch Fulton, deputy assistant director for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, said there are currently nine rulemakings on the agenda regarding the framework and operation of autonomous systems. 
In the U.K., minister for the Department of Transport, Rachel Maclean, said more than $2.5 million has been allocated to crafting regulatory framework and testing of infrastructure for autonomous vehicles. 
City streets will not be crowded with autonomous vehicles today or tomorrow, but as Maclean said, “We need to put the time in now to make sure we get the fundamentals right.”