Are You Ready to Troubleshoot Complex Technological Systems? - BodyShop Business

Are You Ready to Troubleshoot Complex Technological Systems?

BodyShop Business Publisher Scott Shriber asks the collision industry if it has the training necessary to deal with electronic stability control, TPMS, HAC/HDC and other technology.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Phoenix. I found several of the topics noteworthy and thought I would highlight them here for all of you.

The first thing I learned was that electronic stability control (ESC) has been mandated on the 2012 models of all U.S. passenger cars. While I remembered when the government started the phase-in, I didn’t recall that all cars produced for the U.S. market were required to have ESC now.

ESC is a great innovation and has been around on premium vehicles for a long time. It’s an advanced vehicle system that utilizes the ABS system in conjunction with directional sensors to ensure a vehicle is heading in the direction that the wheels are turned. This was the first “aha” moment I had. This is a mandated system that relies on another system to operate…and interdependence means complexity.
The CIC Technical Committee delivered an excellent presentation on other safety/ crash avoidance technologies available today and on the horizon. Some of these technologies include:

  • TPMS – Pretty straightforward and already on most cars.
  • HAC and HDC – Hill ascent and descent control. It’s pretty simple to figure out what these do; both run through the ESC components to operate, which means they use the ABS too. That’s three systems relying on each other.
  • Blind spot warning – This alerts drivers when there is someone in the vehicle’s blind spot.
  • Lane departure warning – This alerts drivers when they’re attempting to leave the lane they’re traveling in.
  • Adaptive headlights – These actually follow the direction the steering wheel is pointed.
  • Adaptive cruise control – This will actually slow the car down on cruise control based on your following distance.

While all of these features are arguably important, the concern is, are we ready to fix them? Do we have the diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot these complex, interdependent systems? Do we have the training to diagnose these options?

Change is good and, in this case, positive, but we need to plan now for all that it includes.

See you in the other lane…if my car will let me go there.

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