A partnership between Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna International and material and chemical giant DuPont is looking to elaborate on the concept of using adhesives rather than welding to bond vehicle liftgates. Spurred by increasing demand for lighterweight vehicle solutions as electrification spreads, the two companies are currently attempting to simplify the manufacturing process, reduce the required bonding time and accelerate the curing process. The challenge comes in ensuring a flexible process that works for all automakers and meets customer demands, said Sid Asthana, global director of material science for Magna. The companies also maintain the technology will be “a critical component” in future automobiles, especially autonomous vehicles.
Volkswagen is exploring virtual reality (VR) training delivery to educate collision repair students on the automaker’s technology, repairing mixed materials, joining techniques, electric vehicle repairs and more. During February’s SkillsCanada Automotive Technology Summit, Volkswagen collision repair program manager Scott Wideman delivered a demonstration and discussion of the automaker’s endeavours in VR training. The demo featured two videos: the first documenting a battery repair on a 2020 Volkswagen e-Tron, and the second featuring body repair technology with mixed material substrates and joining techniques. Wideman said the OEM has already launched its VR battery repair concept training for Audi technicians and it is working to someday introduce VR welding training. “The VR program will allow [students] to see what speed they are welding at, what the weld penetration is, the quality of the weld, so they can maintain that skill and develop it further,” he said. “Think of the impact and what it would mean for technicians in the field.”
Bell Canada and Honda have teamed up to ensure that Canadian drivers are never offline when they’re on the road, as the automaker announced Thursday that all new Honda and Acura models will be equipped with built-in Wi-Fi hotspots. Drivers will be able to stream with up to seven devices through the Bell.ca/ConnectedCar program over Bell’s 4G network.
BEWARE THE BATTERIES
With electric vehicles gaining popularity, emergency responders may be in serious danger–especially since the automaker’s emergency response guides are suppositively not up to par. According to a new report conducted by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) emergency responders may not be able to rely on emergency response guides provided by automakers when dealing with an electrical vehicle fire. The investigation examined three electric vehicle crashes resulting in fires and one non-crash fire involving an electric vehicle. In each case, emergency responders faced major safety risks related to electric shock, thermal runaway, battery ignition and reignition, and stranded energy.
THE PACE OF PROGRESS
American automotive technology company CCC Information Services is reporting a more than 50 percent year-over-year increase in claims processed using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. The company also reports that more than 5 million unique claims have been processed using a CCC deep learning AI solution, and the number of claims using two or more of its AI applications has more than doubled year-over-year. Today, more than 75 U.S. auto insurers are actively applying CCC’s advanced AI to power claims decisions and improve policyholder experiences, said the company via online press release. The company says the sharp growth is spurred by a combination of increased adoption, expanded applications and the more than 300-strong library of AI models supporting personalized claims decisions.