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The Future of Collision Repair Is Here

From horse and buggies to rolling computers, the one thing in this industry that has been constant is change.


Jason Stahl has 26 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 14 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

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I remember a few years ago during a discussion on vehicle technology at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) that someone said there might be a reason for auto body shops to have a full-time electrical engineer on staff someday. How prescient those words were.

We are now faced with vehicles today that need to be scanned and recalibrated. A simple procedure such as the R & I of a sideview mirror could set a code, or even simply disconnecting the battery.

It’s somewhat appropriate then that, at the April CIC meeting this year, the Emerging Technologies Committee proposed a definition for a new role in the collision repair facility: Advanced Driver-Assist and Safety-Systems Tech.

The committee’s proposed definition was: “an automotive technician skilled in computer functions, advanced diagnostic equipment and new vehicle technologies. Knowledgeable in OEM repair procedures, having mechanical aptitude and qualifications, with primary focus on (SRS) supplemental restraint system and (ADAS) advanced driver-assistance systems.”

Wow. And I just got done reading a preview of Gary Ledoux’s forthcoming book, “Yesterwreck,” on the history of the auto body industry. From horse and buggies to rolling computers, the one thing in this industry that has been constant is change. And we’re not done yet, folks!

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