How Advancements in Makes & Models Will Impact Collision Repair Procedures
As the auto industry continues to evolve, it’s no surprise that 2021 models include more advanced technology, and bring new collision repair industry trends your body shop needs to know about. From the increasing complexity of ADAS to electric and hybrid vehicles, technology innovations keep shop owners on their toes.
Your body shop has likely encountered many collision repair trends through the years, and the latest ones cover things like handling composite materials, repairing and calibrating ADAS, and other advanced collision procedures. But just like the more common collision repairs , you rely on OEM repair information to complete these advanced procedures safely and accurately.
Performing collision repairs on advanced vehicles in 2021 and beyond requires putting technology to work in your shop. Let’s look at a few collision repair industry trends for 2021 and how collision repair software can help your body shop meet them head on.
2021 Advancements Your Body Shop Needs to Know About
As vehicle technology advances in the 2021 model year, the line between collision procedures and mechanical repair work continues to get thinner. Lightweight construction and advanced technology in most new models create increased collision severity. To handle all the technology that can be damaged in even a minor collision, your body shop has to rely on technology like collision repair software with up-to-date OEM information to master the technology in today’s models.
Advanced safety features in many new models include electrical networks that interconnect with many other components and systems and require advanced diagnostics. Damage to the body and frame likely also means damage to sensors, cameras, and other high-tech mechanical components that must be repaired in order to return the vehicle to its pre-collision condition.
Here are three key advancements in 2021 vehicle technology that will create new collision repair industry trends:
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
ADAS technology relies on sensors, cameras, and other computerized components to help drivers reduce the risk of a collision. From forward-facing and rear-view cameras to radar and other sensory technologies, the complexity of ADAS platforms will increase as technology improves.
2021 is a big year for ADAS advancements. More comprehensive ADAS packages, sophisticated technology, and new innovations are included on many new models. Here are just some advanced ADAS features you’ll be working on with 2021 models:
- Kia Telluride: Adaptive Cruise Control
- Buick Enclave: Lane Departure Warning
- Nissan Armada: Blind-Spot Alert
- Audi 6: Exit Warning Systems
- Hyundai Tucson: 360-Degree Cameras
- Nissan Rogue Sport: Automatic Emergency Braking
- Ram ProMaster: Digital Rearview Mirror
- Most Chevrolets: Teen Driver Technology
Much of the technology above is destined to become standard equipment. So what do these collision repair trends for ADAS and other technology mean for your body shop? Even a small fender bender could require extensive repairs requiring access to OEM information.
Bumpers in many advanced vehicles house cameras and sensors for backing up, collision avoidance, lane alignment, and other ADAS functions. These changes in bumper technology and related components have increased the labor and cost needed for repair or replacement.
Glass repair in new models will require ADAS calibration, at a minimum, as many newer models have ADAS components like sensors and cameras mounted on the windshield.
And there’s more. Lidar (light detection and ranging) will impact collision repair industry trends even further. Part of Level 3 automation innovations that are ushering in the next phases of auto tech, Lidar is already available on the 2021 Audi A8.
SUN® Collision Repair Information uses technology to help your body shop easily diagnose, repair, and calibrate vehicles with ADAS and other technology. ADAS is no longer a new collision repair trend; it has become standard practice and will only increase in complexity. When you have on-demand access to the all-makes OEM information you need when you need it, keeping ADAS repair and other collision repair procedures in-house becomes much easier.
How easy is it to use SUN Collision software? If you know how to find something with Google, you know how to find what you need with our advanced search engine, 1Search Plus. Select your vehicle, click the ADAS Quick Link button, and you get immediate access to complete, organized ADAS information for the vehicle — and a lot more.
You get a clear view of the ADAS functions and related components, making it easy to select the exact repair and calibration information you want. The “big picture” overview means your body shop can repair and calibrate ADAS on nearly any vehicle.
EVs and Hybrids
One of the most crucial collision repair industry statistics is that the global sales of EVs (electric vehicles) are expected to increase by about 70% in 2021. Automakers understand EVs are the future and are heavily invested in making that future a reality. Of all the collision repair trends your body shop must be prepared for, hybrid and electric vehicle technology will require the most updated and accurate OEM information available to keep up.
Besides the complexity of performing collision repairs on ADAS platforms in electric and hybrid vehicles, there are critical safety issues. According to Body Shop Business, the storage batteries in these vehicles are high voltage and can be dangerous if not handled appropriately. When your body shop repairs a hybrid or electric vehicle, it’s important to lean on the latest OEM information resource before starting any work.
Electric vehicles also require special collision procedures for finishing the repair job. Because of the electric batteries, electric and hybrid vehicles can’t be cured in a typical paint booth. That said, the challenges of repairing hybrid and electric vehicles don’t have to intimidate collision technicians.
SUN’s collision repair software features up-to-date and detailed interactive wiring diagrams. You get immediate access to comprehensive wiring diagrams through the software’s intelligent navigation system. Highlighted wiring traces, component locations, and guided testing procedures mean better diagnostics and faster repairs for your body shop. Collision repair software also includes OEM information for paint and finishes, as well as materials.
The use of materials like carbon fiber, aluminum, and innovative steel composites in 2021 models isn’t really big news. Automakers have been on a quest for lighter, more durable, and safer materials since the dawn of the modern automobile. What’s different about this year is the sheer volume of these materials found in 2021 models. Why is this collision repair trend worth your attention?
Modern materials have already changed the way your body shop approaches collision procedures. You’ve likely worked on vehicles with aluminum, carbon fiber, and high-strength steel. If you’ve worked with high-strength steel, for example, you know it can’t be straightened without losing strength. Like more and more vehicle materials, these parts must be replaced.
Your body shop will see these and other lightweight materials more often as the technology continues to evolve. This year, much of the body of the 2021 Ford Bronco, for example, is made from lightweight aluminum. How much? The hood, front fenders, rear fenders, doors, and tailgate, for starters. And the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is like a rolling showcase for composites. From body panels and frame to structural underbody closures and rear surround frame, the new model is packed with lightweight, hi-tech composite materials.
SUN collision repair software keeps pace with vehicle innovations, which means you have access to up-to-date materials data for your body shop. You’ll find OEM information for composite materials, plastics, aluminum, high-strength steel, adhesives, and more. Plus the detailed collision procedures to complete the job right.
So, What’s Next?
Aptiv, a global tech company, announced the roll out of their next generation ADAS platform. Some of the most notable advancements are in the sensing capabilities that use radar and Lidar to monitor everything from drivers’ eyes to external ADAS components. BMW and Toyota have already invested heavily in hydrogen-powered design and will continue to do so, especially with fleet vehicles.
Is your body shop ready for the collision repair industry trends of 2021 and beyond? If you’re unsure, then ensuring you have the most complete collision repair software should be a high priority. Imagine having immediate access to updated, complete OEM information for collision repair procedures exactly when you need it.
When you check out our free demo, you’ll see how you can prepare to handle the latest collision repair trends. If you want to know more right away, we’d be glad to hear from you. Give us a call at 877-840-1973.
Ross Whiteley, Product Manager for SUN Collision, has held roles of increasing responsibility at Snap-on over the past 13 years. He joined SUN Collision’s sister company, Mitchell 1, as Product Contact Support rep in 2010 and was later promoted to Client Services Manager. He began his career after high school as a UPS driver in 1997 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA in BA in Project Management at Purdue University in 2015. In the interim, he held various positions in the auto industry, including roles as Service Consultant at Lithia Chrysler Dodge and Assistant Service Manager at Cascade Auto Center.