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Chris Brandl (standing) and Guy Barness are committee leaders with CIC. Brandl says CIC should depart from 'granular topics' and discuss challenges likely to cause industry disruptions. Photo by John Huetter/Repairer Driven News.

By Mike Davey

Palm Springs, California -- January 15, 2015 -- More voices are needed in the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), according to one of the organization’s committees. The CIC is a US-based forum made up of participants from all industry segments. It can be viewed as somewhat analogous to the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF).

The CIC is open to anyone involved in the auto claims economy, including insurers, repairers and vendors. However, according to a report on Repairer Driven News, the CIC’s Marketing Committee has warned that insularity and inactivity threaten the CIC.

“The CIC must attract new voices — including consistent attendance from the top 10 insurers — notice new technology and actually act on the same feedback collected over and over again, the Marketing Committee concluded at the Palm Springs, Calif., forum,” according to the report on Repairer Driven News.

Chris Brandl leads the Marketing Committee for CIC. According to the report in Repairer Driven News, Brandl says that while CIC members have indicated that they want more networking, this view misses a broader problem.

“Without the audience changing, we’re making the same deals with the same people,” Brandl said, according to the report on Repairer Driven News.

Brandl also put forward the idea that the CIC should depart from “granular topics” and discuss the latest challenges likely to cause industry disruptions, including autonomous vehicles. Brandl discussed a recent visit to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and pointed out that the OEMs are making enormous advances in this area.

Brandl pointed to a number of other topics that he believes are worthy of attention from repairers. These include Toyota Agent, a cloud-based navigation system that monitors road conditions and can reroute the car around trouble spots and Ford’s 360-degree collision avoidance technology using a new type of LiDAR. Of all the topics Brandl mentioned, perhaps the most likely to cause an immediate impact is Mobileye, an aftermarket collision avoidance system. The system primarily consists of a special camera fitted to the inner windshield. It comes standard on some high-end cars, but the manufacturers say it can be installed on any vehicle.

For more information on the Collision Industry Conference, please visit ciclink.com. For more on the latest CIC meeting, please read "Following latest ‘Class A’ debate, CIC to vote in April on ceasing shop classification" on Repairer Driven News. 


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