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TECHNOLOGY NEWS – CRM 20#1

BIG BLUE

AsTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, announced its acquisition of the “BlueDriver” diagnostic tools and services. BlueDriver is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer aftermarket diagnostics scan tools and services. The company represents the ninth add-on acquisition for asTech and Kinderhooks’ 99th automotive-related transaction.

The BlueDriver diagnostic tool is able to match vehicles, make, model, and trouble code to a specific fix from a repair database that has been verified by professional automotive technicians. Once the proper fix is identified, customers can seamlessly order parts online with the BlueDriver application along with clearing diagnostic trouble codes upon completion of the repair, asTech is now the only company in the world that has both aftermarket / quick-scan and full OEM diagnostic scanning and calibration capabilities.

HELP CLOSE TO HOME

A Brantford, Ontario-based tech company and their innovative AI-based facial recognition software are helping to keep the Canadian auto industry rolling amid the pandemic. Designed by Solutions Into Motion, Janus functions similarly to the scanning devices used in airports and utilizes a built-in thermal camera that is capable of detecting abnormal body temperatures and can also verify as to whether or not the individual is wearing a face mask, based on facial recognition technology. People are already jumping on board with Janus, including one Chevrolet dealership in Caledonia, Ontario that is using the software to help get through its day-to-day.

PROJECT ARROW SEEKS AIM

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) is looking for help supplying components for their upcoming Project Arrow, Canada’s first original all-electric SUV concept vehicle. “The Windsor, Ontario, end will do the virtual build and digital twinning of the Arrow. It will establish the engineering architecture that is so critical,” said APMA president Flavio Volpe. The deadline to submit a request for proposal is March 1. For more information, visit projectarrow.ca.

LION’S SHARE

A transportation operator headquartered in Laval, Quebec has gone the way of electrification and has signed on for an order of 60 all-electric buses from Quebec-based Lion Electric. Autobus Groupe Séguin plans to integrate 60 brand new Lion Electric school buses into their fleet as part of the largest single electric school bus order to be placed in North America.

The company will receive the first ten buses during the 2021 calendar year and will be used from the start of the 2021-2022 school year, through the seven service centres operated by Autobus Séguin. The remaining 50 buses are expected to be delivered by 2026, permitting the satisfaction of certain conditions.

CHARGED UP

Aurora, Ontario, based auto parts manufacturer Magna International has announced a deal with LG, in which the companies will colloborate on components for electric vehicles. The joint venture tentatively has been called LG Magna e-Powertrain, and Magna says the deal combines its strength in electric powertrain systems and manufacturing with LG’s expertise in component development for e-motors and inverters.

The joint venture will include more than 1,000 employees located at LG locations in the United States, South Korea and China. The agreement is expected to close in July and is subject to a number of conditions including LG shareholder approval. Magna announced in late 2020 that it would be helping to manufacture an electric SUV for startup Fisker Inc. in Europe.

IN ABP’S ESTIMATION

Solera has announced that its Audatex Estimating platform has been named “best estimating system,” by the Auto Body Professionals Club (ABP) in the United Kingdom—for the 13th consecutive year. The ABP’s annual awards program, “The Night of Knights,” held online this year due to the pandemic, determined the award winners by popular vote from a base of more than 2000 autobody repair shops from around the U.K. ABP members are at the forefront of all that happens in the U.K. autobody repair industry; their vote of confidence validates and underscores Solera’s leading position in the industry.

BIDEN BOOSTS
FEDERAL FLEET

U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he will be converting the entire federal fleet to EVs. The U.S. federal fleet is made up of more than 645,000 vehicles: 245,000 civilian vehicles, 173,000 military vehicles, and 225,000 post office vehicles, according to Electrek. A timeline has yet to be announced, but Biden confirmed the vehicles will be electric and American-made.

 

ADAS ANONYMOUS

In the ongoing effort to instil consistent ADAS repair practices across the automotive industry, CIECA has released a short instructional video to guide technicians through an ideal workflow. The five-minute video lays out a 12-step process for how technicians should approach repairing a vehicle equipped with ADAS.

This workflow process emphasizes the need to educate the customer on the full scope of their vehicle’s ADAS capabilities at full functionality; a point which, if not fully understood, could lead drivers to accept incomplete or unsafe repairs.

When the call went out asking companies to help produce this video, Airpro knew they had to support the cause. “We hear from shops all the time asking for support and education in the field of scanning and ADAS calibrations,” said former CIC Chairperson Michael Quinn, President of AirPro Diagnostics, “Education of the repair community at large is one of AirPro’s strategic objectives.  We want to help shops get access to the technology and training they need to properly repair vehicles. We were asked and eventually agreed to sponsor the entire video as we knew this video would provide so much benefit for repairers, it’s a lot of information in an easily consumable format for all individuals engaged in performing calibrations.

 

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