Automotive technology: the expert point of view

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From electric cars to maintenance and spare parts, our pros explain everything. Technology has changed every aspect of our lives: our homes, our work, and also the way we drive. But while new automotive technologies affect every driver, it’s not always clear how and why these changes affect us. After all, most of us are relatively new to automobiles.

Automotive Industry
modern automotive

So we decided to ask our questions to two experts: Mike Di Stasio, appraisal unit manager at Belairdirect, and Francesco Gissi, one of our auto damage appraisers.

As they describe themselves, Francesco is “the guy in the field” who shows up at the scene of the claim. Mike, for his part, leads a team of estimators and is their reference for all procedures and technical information.

Together, they have nearly 30 years of experience in the automotive and insurance industry, and before that, in garages.

Automobiles: before vs today

One of the biggest changes over the years has been from cars that were primarily mechanical to vehicles with a lot of electronic components.”20 or 30 years prior, a vehicle was a motor, a flywheel, 4 haggles’ with regards to it,” Mike tells us.

Many modern components – doors, windows, mirrors – are electronic and form part of a complex system linked directly to the onboard computer. This computer acts like the black box of an airplane, explains Mike.”Today, a specialist can associate his PC straightforwardly to the vehicle and maybe he was conversing with the vehicle. He can ask him what the problem is. »
Technology and security
Automobiles are also safer than in the past. When we ask which technological development has been the most revolutionary, our two experts agree on airbags.

Fortunately, modern cars are equipped with at least six airbags, and often more, which deploy using sensors distributed throughout the vehicle.

Vehicles are likewise more secure because of new materials, for example, high-strength steel. Compared to conventional steel, it provides better protection for vehicle occupants in the event of a collision.” It assimilates the effect for you,” says Francesco. However, he adds, high-strength steel is more complicated to produce and more expensive to repair than conventional steel.
Hidden Technology
Reversing cameras and Bluetooth are obvious. But we are often less aware of other technologies such as the engine control unit or the on-board computer which is connected to many sensors and parts of the vehicle.

And then there are the “invisible” technologies like ABS and power steering. “They are now standard,” Francesco tells us, which may be why we forget to see these features as technologies. In short, you might be underestimating how technologically advanced your car is!

Repair and maintenance of Automotive

So how do all these technologies affect repair and maintenance? ” The cost! Francesco tells us.

Replacement parts are now much more expensive than their basic equivalent. For example, xenon and auto-leveling headlights: “I’ve seen headlights over $5,000 on Audis,” Mike tells us. “But it’s not just the high-end models,” adds Francesco, who tells us that spare parts are now more expensive, even on the simplest models.

Now consider how most parts of a car are connected to a larger system.” Apart toward the edge of your guard could experience an effect and your vulnerable side finder could break. It’s $900 or $1000,” says Mike.

In the end, repair and maintenance can be more expensive if it requires a specialist.
The automotive technology of tomorrow
Wondering what the next major innovation will be?

As indicated by Mike and Francesco, it’s electric and half-breed vehicles. “The technology is going to explode in the next 20-25 years,” predicts Mike, citing Toyota, which plans to roll out an electric version of all its models by 2025. The use of aluminum instead of steel for the bodywork is also a promising possibility.

But while alternative energy sources and new ultra-lightweight materials could drive down expenses, there could be new costs associated with these technologies – just like needing specialists when it comes to vehicle repair and maintenance.

Technology: good or bad?

Change is inevitable, but is it good? For Mike and Francesco, the response is yes… and negative.

Technology in cars can help and even make them safer. But it can also increase the cost of cars, as well as the expense of having to hire specialists to take care of them.

And while we should be grateful for some safety additions, our experts also warn us against relying too much on tools like rear-view cameras, blind-spot sensors, anti-line crossing, and other technologies.

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