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The future of auto glass repair and replace

The automobile industry is set to evolve from windscreen to bumper, thanks to ADAS technology.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are shaping our future – the potential for this technology to improve vehicular safety and comfort features is making this technology a worldwide sensation on both consumer and regulatory front. But what does this technology mean for other sectors of the automotive industry?

The theme of the recent PG Glass HPN conference was “The Future of Glass Repair and Replace”. There were presentations from around the world sharing information on how radically the motor vehicle industry is changing and the impact thereof to glass manufacturers, installers, fleet and insurance customers.

The first day of the HPN conference was a Customer and Network Event where local and international speakers shared how the future of the motor industry and autoglass is changing. Speakers included Benny Daniel from Frost & Sullivan, United Kingdom, Johan Mortier, Global Technical Director, Belron and Doug Vining from FutureWorld.

The days of windscreens just offering some protection to the occupants of the vehicle and some structural strength to the vehicle are long gone. Windscreens have morphed into a sophisticated piece of technology that creates a platform where important information is shared with the driver of a car.

More and more vehicles have one or more Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These systems are developed to automate/adapt/enhance vehicle systems for safety and better driving. Safety features are designed to avoid collisions and accidents by offering technologies that alert the driver to the potential problems or to avoid collisions by implementing safeguards and taking over control of the vehicle. Adaptive features may automate lighting, provide adaptive cruise control, automate breaking, incorporate GPS/traffic warnings, connect to smartphones, automatic parking, and alert the driver to other cars or dangers, keep the driver in the correct lane or show what are in blinds spots.

Windscreens already have features like heads-up display capabilities. The front of the car is being transformed into a cockpit which allows the driver to interact with smartphones or GPS systems without looking away from the road. Directions, road names, places of interest etc. will be pointed out to the driver. Some vehicles are even able to monitor the health and well-being of the driver and display the results on the windscreen HUD (heads-up display).

John Mortier from Belron highlighted how the move to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is making windscreen replacements and windscreen repairs an increasingly complex job. Replacing a windscreen can throw all of these systems out of sync if they are not recalibrated to work with the new glass – which could stop the safety systems from working effectively.

The impact of these advances affects how windscreens are manufactured and installed. Shatterprufe is geared up to meet the advanced manufacturing demands and PG Glass has positioned itself with world-class tooling, trained and accredited Technicians and calibration systems in order to keep up with the change.

As vehicular technology advances, sectors such as the windscreen manufacture and fitment industries will adapt as well, and the automobile industry is set to evolve from windscreen to bumper, thanks to ADAS technology.