Salt Lake City, Utah -- June 17, 2013 -- The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety has announced the publication of a study that claims voice-to-text technology is detrimental to the cognitive capabilities of motorists.
The AAA sponsored paper, written by professors at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, has found that voice-to-text technology distracts a driver's cognitive functions and inhibits their ability to properly pay attention to what's happening in front of them on the road.
Defined as anything that conflicts with a driver's capacity to process the information necessary for the safe operation of a vehicle, the study found drivers were less distracted by the radio, books on tape or other passengers than they were by engaging a voice-to-text function.
"We established that there are significant impairments to driving that stem from the diversion of attention from the task of operating a motor vehicle, and that the impairments to driving are directly related to the cognitive workload of these in-vehicle activities," the paper states.
As part of the study, its authors used a "Detection-Response-Task" device to record driver reaction time in connection with the changing of red and green lights. In conjunction, the researchers used a electroencephalographic(EEG)-configured cap to chart a driver's brain activity, allowing researchers to analyze the driver's ability to manage their mental driving tasks.
AAA hopes this will promote greater conversation between regulators and the automobile and technology industries, with the goal being to collaborate and promote a shared goal of improving the safety of all drivers.
The study experimented on 20 men and 18 women aged 18 to 30 who were recruited by the University of Utah; the subjects had an average driving experience was 6.9 years. The study found that a driver's reaction time when braking in a driving simulator increased, while it noted drivers were less thorough in checking their side mirrors, rearview mirrors and dashboard when driving a real car.
"Our research establishes that there is a systematic decrease in scanning for hazards as cognitive workload increases," the paper states.
Boucherville, Québec -- June 17, 2013 -- Uni-Select announced that its members are now positioned to offer replacement parts and paint products to CSN Collision & Glass shops.
Uni-Select announced recently that it expanded its paint offering in Canada, which the company says will improve the service it offers to customers and could lead to sale of replacement parts and paint products to CSN’s 280-plus collision repair shops across the country. Carrossier ProColor, a division of Uni-Select, and CSN announced their ambition in December 2012 to create the largest network of shops across Canada.
Uni-Select has successfully provided valued services and products to the collision network Carrossier ProColor, which consists of 144 locations in Québec. The partnership allows the companies to provide full national coverage.
“This is great news for Uni-Select which seeks to continue its growth in the distribution of automotive replacement parts and paint products in Canada. The partnership with CSN network promises to be beneficial to both entities,” said Michel Charbonneau, Vice President, PBE, Major Accounts and Marketing, Uni-Select.
“We are very pleased to further unite our two networks that share many values including the importance of confidence, trust and integrity. We are continually focused on providing value to all our stakeholders and being the customer service network. Having Carrossier ProColor as a strong, respected and professional member partner in Québec, and now the addition of Uni-Select as CSN’s National preferred distribution partner, only strengthens CSN’s commitment and ability to deliver on our promise,” said Flavio Battliana, Chief Operating Officer, CSN.
Toronto, Ontario -- June 14, 2013 -- You couldn’t ask for a better day to slide down the side of a tall building. The sky was blue, birds were chirping, and participants in Make-a-Wish’s second annual Rope for Hope fundraiser were rappelling themselves down 30-storeys of Toronto’s renowned City Hall.
On June 14, three of those 100 participants were Flavio Battilana, Larry French and Jenny Trokic, composing the team representing CSN Collision and Glass. Over the past few years, CSN has raised over $40,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Rope for Hope is their unique event that calls upon participants to raise money in exchange for the experience of rappelling over the edge of a building nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto.
So why rappelling? Elissa Schmidt, Director of Brand Advancement at Make-A-Wish, said, “We wanted to create a new and unique event that had adventure and excitement...it is a great way to engage our donors and participants.”
Each participant must raise a minimum of $1500 in order to rappel, with the CSN team raising $4500 for the event through donations. In total, the event beat the $115,000 it raised last year by raising upwards of $200,000.
When asked how he was feeling before the event, Chief Operating Officer Flavio Battilana said he was feeling “scared and excited.”
Battilana believes, “The children in these circumstances are so motivational...it is the responsibility of any corporation to support local communities and charities.”
The actual rappelling can last anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour depending on the speed of the person. Larry French, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CSN, described the experience as, “The first step is unnerving, but after that you just flow down...for a good cause, you do what you gotta do.”
Toronto is one of the two cities hosting rappelling events. An additional Rope for Hope fundraiser is being held in Halifax on June 21.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois -- June 13, 2013 -- Lawrence Geise, VP of Automobile Frame Design, Research and Testing for Honda R&D Americas will deliver a keynote speech at the upcoming I-CAR Inter-Industry Conference in Boston, Mass. Geise will address the body and chassis system changes being made by Honda to contribute to enhanced fuel economy and safety performance.
Geise joins fellow OEM Keynote Reginald R. Modlin, Director, Regulatory Affairs, from Chrysler Group and an exceptional line-up of technical leaders who will speak at the event on July 24 and 25.
The Conference will provide an exciting high-level view and fast-paced agenda that focuses on the changing world of vehicle technology and what this means to the industry’s future. The topics are collision repair industry relevant, covering the regulatory environment that is driving the vehicle “technology tsunami” we are facing and the related technology advances such as integrated vehicle safety systems, body and chassis system innovations in support of vehicle light-weighting, and the potential for self-driving vehicles.
The Conference Moderator is John McElroy, Autoline TV host and author. Previously announced conference speakers include:
• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Nathaniel Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety and Research
• Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), David Zuby, Chief Research Officer
• Center for Automotive Research (CAR), Richard Wallace, Director, Transportation Systems Analysis
• Robert Bosch LLC, Dr. Kay Stepper, Director, Driver Assistance Systems, Chassis Systems Control
As a capstone to the speakers, an inter-industry panel will also explore the repair and business impact associated with these coming vehicle technology changes.
Toronto, Ontario -- June 13, 2013 -- Like it or not, insurer-mandated parts procurement programs are part of the collision repair landscape. The programs differ from one insurer to the next, but the common feature is that the insurer pays the parts supplier for the parts directly.
Here in Canada, most of the discussion has focused on the Intact program. However, in the U.S., it’s State Farm’s PartsTrader that has generated the most controversy. After testing it in a number of markets in the U.S., State Farm is now ready to take it nationwide. No plans have been announced for introducing the program to Canada at the present time, but there’s also no reason to expect that the program won’t make its way here eventually.
George Avery has been State Farm’s spokesperson to the collision industry since 2005. He started his career in the auto claims economy as a technician and painter in California. When he joined State Farm, it was as an auto estimator, estimator trainer, auto claim representative and an auto claims instructor. We recently had a chance to ask Avery a few questions regarding the PartsTrader program.
Collision Repair magazine: The program is now being rolled out on a national scale in the U.S. after tests in various markets. What changes, if any, were made to the program based on the results from test markets?
George Avery: There were 11 software updates made as a direct result of input from the repairers in the test area. We appreciated Select Service repairer’s willingness to help make the process better.
CRM: When will we see this program come to Canada?
GA: We will continue to evaluate our rollout in 2014. We can’t give any firm dates at this time, or confirm that the program will run in Canada.
CRM: Will State Farm "grade" shops based on the parts they choose to use in repairs? For example, if a shop prefers to avoid aftermarket parts and elects to use OE at higher cost, will this affect their relationship with State Farm?
GA: State Farm has an existing policy of not using aftermarket outer plastic and sheet metal parts in repairs. The State Farm Repairer Performance Management tool evaluates overall repairer performance relative to quality, efficiency and competitive price. Repairers are free to make decisions on part type, part supplier, and price they charge on individual repair jobs that they feel results in their best overall performance.
CRM: How much does State Farm expect to save on parts in the first year of the national rollout?
GA: State Farm spends about $3 billion in part costs each year. The intent is to introduce competition, efficiency and transparency to the parts ordering process. Any savings realized in the future could benefit our shared customer in the form of lower premium costs and fewer total losses.
CRM: Shops are allowed to use their preferred parts suppliers under the PartsTrader program. How will this work if those suppliers elect not to participate in the program?
GA: Only repairers can invite suppliers to join the program so parts can be ordered electronically. If the repairer’s preferred supplier elects not to participate in the program, a participating supplier must be used to comply with the Select Service Agreement.
Las Vegas, Nevada -- June 12, 2013 -- Ford will exhibit at the 2013 Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW). Ford is the first of the major OEMs to commit to exhibiting at this year’s ASRW. The event includes NACE, for collision repair industry professionals, and CARS, for those on the automotive service side.
ASRW will take place Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17-18, with education beginning Wed., Oct. 16, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Every year, ASRW attendees express a great desire to interact and engage with the OEMs to discuss access to repair information, parts information and new vehicle technologies,” says Dan Risley, ASA interim executive director. “As the first of the OEMs we’re in discussion with to formally commit to ASRW, we are appreciative of Ford’s participation in this year’s event.”
Ford will be exhibiting on the ASRW show floor in an all-new area. Additional details and participants will be announced in the near future.
“Ford has had a long standing, positive business relationship with ASA and its members, and we are pleased to continue our support of ASA at one of the industry’s most important trade shows,” says George Gilbert, crash parts merchandising manager, Ford Customer Service Division.
Hamilton, Ontario -- June 12, 2013 -- A side investigation connected to Dellen Millard is underway based on police findings at the Millardair hangar at Waterloo International Airport. Millard is one of two men currently facing charges in connection with the death of Tim Bosma, who didn't return after his leaving his home in Ancaster, Ont., for a test drive of a truck he was trying to sell online.
Multiple stolen vehicles and parts were found in the building, including a $35,000 Harley Davidson motorcycle that was advertised on Kijiji by a Toronto man in fall 2012.
"I can confirm that the motorcycle written about was recovered in the hangar by the Hamilton Police. There were a number of vehicles and/or parts found in the hangar and this remains under investigation," says Const. Debbie McGreal-Dinning of the Hamilton Police Service.
The motorcycle, which was stolen shortly after being advertised, had been chopped into pieces and repainted with its serial numbers shaved down. It has been speculated that the hangar was being used as a giant “chop shop” for stolen vehicles due to the presence of dismantled, repainted vehicles with serial numbers ground away.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the stolen car industry is a $600-million-a-year illicit business in Canada, with 40 percent of stolen cars in Ontario the result of organized enterprise auto theft.
In order to turn a profit, the criminal must either export the vehicle to a destination where it is no longer sought by police, chop the vehicle into parts and sell them as legitimate components, or disguise the vehicle's identity and try to sell it legitimately to unsuspecting buyers.
Millard inherited the $6.4-million hangar after his father, Wayne Millard, died in November 2012. He is currently facing charges of first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle in connection with the Tim Bosma case.
The chop shop case remains under investigation by Hamilton police.