Santa Clara Auto Body Blog

Read the latest auto body and collision repair news from Anderson Behel

Our Self-Driving Cars Realy Safe?

on Thursday, 12 April 2018.

Some Experts Say No

Murphy’s Law says that "anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” and it’s finally caught up with autonomous vehicles. On Sunday night March 17, an autonomous car operated by Uber, including an emergency backup driver behind the wheel, struck and killed a woman on a street in Tempe, Ariz. Hours after the crash, Uber announced the suspension of all tests of its autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Toronto.
This was believed to be the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving technology. The accident reminds us that self-driving technology is still in the experimental stage, and people are still trying to figure out how to regulate it. Uber had a previous accident with an autonomous vehicle, but it was determined the other driver was at fault.
 
At Anderson Behel, we hope to work on self-driving cars when the time comes, but first I think all of us want to be certain that autonomous vehicles are safe first. 
 
Uber, Waymo (previously Google), and other tech companies and automakers have expanded testing of their self-driving vehicles in various cities around the country. Waymo says cars will be safer than regular cars because they take easily distracted humans out of the driving equation. Although the technology is about a decade old, it’s now starting to experience real-world unpredictable situations that drivers can face.
Testing of autonomous cars has taken place in a small number of vehicles. If these vehicles were mass-produced like other cars are now, how will they be tested? Automakers certainly couldn’t send each vehicle out for a road test. In mass production, testing would have to be no more than a couple of minutes. Complicating the situation is the complexity of these cars that include special sensors and computer control to make them work properly. For example, how could you test a vehicle to avoid hitting a pedestrian at night, like the accident in Tempe?
 
The Federal government is trying to get involved. A Senate bill would free autonomous-car makers from some existing safety standards and preempt states from creating their own vehicle safety laws. Similar legislation has been passed in the House. The Senate version has passed a committee vote, but hasn’t reached a full floor vote.
 
“This tragic incident makes clear that autonomous vehicle technology has a long way to go before it is truly safe for the passengers, pedestrians, and drivers who share America’s roads,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) of Connecticut.
What Exactly Happened?
 
The Uber car, a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle outfitted with the company’s sensing system, was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel but carrying no passengers when it struck Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman, on Sunday around 10 p.m.
 
A Tempe police spokesman, said that a preliminary investigation showed that the vehicle was moving around 40 miles per hour when it struck Ms. Herzberg, who was walking with her bicycle on the street. He said it did not appear as though the car had slowed down before impact and that the Uber safety driver had shown no signs of impairment. The weather was clear and dry.
 
Uber’s Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle, outfitted with the company’s sensing system, was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel, but carrying no passengers, when it fatally struck Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman, in Tempe, Ariz. on March 17.
 
Tempe, with its dry weather and wide roads, was considered an ideal place to test autonomous vehicles. In 2015, Arizona officials declared the state a regulation-free zone in order to attract testing operations from companies like Uber, Waymo, and Lyft.
 
The state agreed to testing of autonomous vehicles that had safety drivers at the wheel, ready to take over in an emergency. That mandate was changed to allow testing of unmanned self-driving cars, because a “business-friendly and low regulatory environment” had helped the state’s economy.
 
In California, where testing without a backup driver was just weeks away from being permitted,  a spokeswoman for the state Department of Motor Vehicles, said officials were in the process of gathering more information about the Tempe crash.
 
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of four investigators to examine “the vehicle’s interaction with the environment, other vehicles and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.”
 
Most testing of driverless cars occurs with a safety driver in the front seat who is available to take over if something goes wrong. However, it’s not easy to take control of a vehicle going 40 mph.
 
Waymo, which has been testing autonomous vehicles on public roads since 2009 when it was Google’s self-driving car project, has said its cars have driven more than 5 million miles while Uber’s cars have covered 3 million miles. Between December 2016 and November 2017, Waymo’s self-driving cars drove about 350,000 miles and human drivers retook the wheel 63 times. Uber hasn’t been testing its self-driving cars long enough in California to be required to release its disengagement numbers.
 
Researchers working on autonomous technology have struggled with how to teach the systems to adjust for unpredictable human driving or behavior. Still, most researchers believe self-driving cars will ultimately be safer than their human counterparts. Unfortunately, they can’t suggest a date when this will be the norm.
In another accident in May 2016, the driver of a Tesla using Autopilot, the car company’s self-driving feature, died on a state highway in Florida when his car crashed into a tractor-trailer that was crossing the road. Federal regulators later ruled there were no defects in the system to cause the accident. And, the vehicle was not completely autonomous.
 
Source: Power Electronics 

Oldest Porsche 911 Finds a New Home

on Tuesday, 03 April 2018.

Having completed a three-year restoration of the oldest surviving 911 production model, the Porsche Museum is displaying the oldest 911 in existence at its Stuttgart facility through the month of April.

At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we are proud to be a certified Porsche facility, which means we are experts at fixing these amazing vehicles. If you own a Porsche, well first--congratulations--but if we ever get into an accident, always thinks about us first.

Produced as 901 No. 57, the red coupe debuted in October 1964. Almost exactly 50 years later, the Porsche Museum found the car and bought it with a goal of restoring it to its original condition.

The 911 originally was to be called the 901, but Peugeot held the rights to three-number vehicles with zero as the middle number, so the Porsche 901 became the now iconic 911. Though built on the assembly line as 901s, the cars were renamed 911 before any were sold to customers.

The Porsche factory collection had lacked one of those cars until No. 57 was acquired. No. 57 actually was discovered by a German television crew that explores for antiques hidden away in barns and other buildings. In 2014, the crew found two 911 models in a barn.

“After making enquiries with the Porsche Museum, it emerged that one of the two sports cars with the chassis number 300.057 was one of the rare models built before the model line was renamed,” the museum said in its news release. The museum bought both of the cars the TV crew found. In restoring the car, the museum’s goal was to emphasize repair over replacement.

“The old 911 had not been restored in any way, giving the specialists at the museum the opportunity to restore the sports car as authentically and as true to the original as possible,” the museum said.

“It took a total of three years to bring this very rusty sports car back to its original state, using genuine body parts from the time taken from a different vehicle. The engine, transmission, electrics and interior were all repaired following the same principle. The general rule was to retain parts and fragments where possible rather than replacing them.”

 “These intricate restoration methods used by the Porsche Museum as the standard approach are precisely the reason why it took so long to bring this highly historically significant sports car back to life.”

The work completed, the car was given a test drive and moved to its new display in the museum earlier this week.

 

Will Our Industry Survive Until 2045?

on Monday, 26 March 2018.

Will Robots Replace Us All?

In advance of April Fool's Day, we thought we'd share this amusing article about what body shops might be like in the Year 2045. At Anderson Behel, we have seen the collision repair industry change in a huge way, and with autonomous cars on the horizon, it's an exciting time. Here is a tongue-in-cheek take on the possible future of our industry. Enjoy! 

If you work in the collision repair industry, you know that this is an incredible time to be in the body shop business. With aluminum vehicles now part of your daily lives and innovative tools that can allow you to do more work faster than ever before, this is a prime time to be at the forefront of these amazing developments with many more to come in the very near future.

So we're asking this question--In the year 2045, will the collision industry still be alive? Will autonomous cars create more work for collision repair shops or will they eventually cause their demise? Will robots replace the technicians, painters and estimators of today?

So, let's jump in the time machine and move ahead to 2045!

"How many cars drove in overnight?" the VE (Virtual Estimator) asked the shop's security robot at Futurist Auto Body.

"Six drove in; one flew in and three swam in here and they're already repaired."

"Did their owners come in and pick them up?"

"No, they all left themselves, as usual."

"Nice, that should help our average cycle time. Where do they stand now?"

"12 minutes, down from 14," the security robot explained. "But one of the repair drones crashed into a 2034 soil-powered Tesla, so we will have to re-do that one."

"That's why we should still use human metal technicians, because the machines don't take long lunches or complain, but they also break down too often.

“I do have one question—there is one car here, and we don't know why. We can't see any damage with the vehicle."

"Just ask the vehicle itself! Do I have to change your software?"

"Sorry, boss."

"We sent out a hologram telling our parts suppliers what we needed, but they could not get us a few of the items we ordered."

"Just print them out with the 3-D printer and get the job done."

"Good job, I'm taking off for SEMA tomorrow, so I will get back to you upon my return."

"Where is it this year—in Vegas?"

"No actually it's on Pluto."

"Nice!"

(Article shared courtesy of Autobody News and written by Ed Attanasio) 

 

Another Amazing 5-Star Yelp Review

on Friday, 16 March 2018.

Thanks Rosalie for the kind words!

"These guys are top notch.  Absolutely the BEST.  My 2016 Subaru Crosstrek suffered a parking lot incident. Not too bad but they managed to ding both panels behind the passenger side headlight - also scraped the molding and the bumper. Anderson Behel did an amazing job, it looks like brand new and it's guaranteed as long as I own my car.  

Their office staff is GREAT.  Said they'd call and they did call when they said they would. They also helped me with the rental car and generally made the whole process as easy as it could possibly be.  

I'm very happy with everything.  The price was reasonable, the result was perfect and the service was outstanding.  I recommend them 100%."

-Rosalie A., Sunnyvale, CA 

Everyone is Talking About the Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo

on Saturday, 10 March 2018.

This car has many talents and is aimed at people who like to spend their free time travelling, playing sport and pursuing other outdoor activities. Thanks to all-wheel drive, every ski slope is easy to reach, while the flexible interior creates space for all kinds of sports equipment and modern load-carrying systems facilitate the transport of surfboards or a Porsche e-bike.
 
As a Porsche certified shop, that means we have the skills ands training to work on some of the world's finest vehicles here at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA. 
 
The strengths of the four-door four-seater include an emotional design with striking off-road elements as well as an innovative display and operating concept with touchscreen and eye-tracking control. Measuring 4.95 metres in length, the concept vehicle has all-wheel drive and an 800-volt architecture, prepared for connection to the fast charging network. It can also be charged by induction, at a charging station or using the Porsche home energy storage system. The road-ready Mission E Cross Turismo builds on the Mission E study Porsche demonstrated at the 2015 International Motor Show (IAA) and uses elements that are close to series production.
 
The design: unmistakable Porsche DNA
A low-cut bonnet between heavily curved wings: the front of the Mission E Cross Turismo reveals its relationship to the sports car icon Porsche 911 at first glance. Vertical air inlets in the front, known as air curtains, are a distinctive design feature. Another stylistic highlight are the matrix LED headlights. The brand’s typical four-point daytime running lights have evolved into narrow, three-dimensional glass elements. Embedded in four sweeping wings, these also contain an innovative four-point indicator light. At the same time, the vehicle has high-performance full beams with Porsche X-Sight technology. The off-road design elements include robust wheel arch protection and door sills, a striking front spoiler and lower rear and increased ground clearance.
 
The silhouette is defined by a sporty roofline that slopes off to the rear, which Porsche designers refer to as a ‘flyline’. This is reminiscent of the rear of the Panamera Sport Turismo. Equally distinctive for the brand is the dynamic shape of the side windows. The broad wings and three-dimensional side panels with air outlets behind the front wheels reinforce the sporty crossover character of the concept car, which is 1.99 metres wide. Other distinctive features include the eye-catching side door sills with their off-road appearance and 20-inch wheels with 275/40 R 20 tyres.
Even from behind, the study can immediately be recognised as a Porsche with its exclusively light grey metallic paintwork. In addition to its sporty design and air-channelling roof spoiler, the continuous light strip is a typical feature. The luminescent white Porsche logo is composed of glass letters embedded in a three-dimensional cover with a circuit board design. During charging, the ‘E’ in the Porsche logo pulsates, and the circuit board is brought to life by pulses of light. This makes the flow of energy impressively visual for the customer. A large panoramic glass roof extending from the windscreen to the boot lid ensures a generous sense of space.
 
Variability: equipped for all mobility needs
The Mission E Cross Turismo presents a picture as to what a Turismo model with features of a crossover utility vehicle could look in series production – a car that is equally suitable for travelling, everyday life and adventure, filling the role of a versatile companion both in the city and in the countryside. The crossover model is aimed at people who like to spend their free time playing sport or pursuing other outdoor activities. Passengers stand to benefit from the flexible nature of the four-seater, which measures 1.42 metres in height. For example, the backrest of each individual seat in the rear has a load-through facility. This can be used for skis and other long equipment.
 
The backrests themselves can be folded down. Additionally, the boot features a rail system with adjustable and removable straps. These can be used to secure items quickly and safely. To give the passengers of the Mission E Cross Turismo various mobility options beyond the car, the Porsche e-bike supports its rider with a powerful electric drive when the pedals are turned. It is a mobility offer that does mean Porsche customers do not have to go without the design, technology and performance of a Porsche when they are on two wheels in their free time.
 
The interior: visible lightweight structures
The interior reinterprets classic Porsche elements, bringing them into the digital age. Take the dashboard, for example, which emphasises the vehicle’s width and is composed of a wing-shaped upper and lower part. The instrument panel is clearly organised horizontally with an extra-wide display for the driver and front passenger. The freestanding instrument cluster is angled towards the driver and includes three circular display graphics with digital content on TFT screens. The centre console between the front seats rises towards the dash panel. In combination with the ambient lighting, the indirect lighting of the centre console creates a unique atmosphere.
 
The interior design features also include visible lightweight structures, which can be found on the instrument panel and other places as well as the sporty seats, reminiscent of those found in racing cars, with illuminated Porsche lettering. The door lining has innovative three-dimensional elements with a textured surface. Anodised edges in Nordic Blue on features such as the air vents and window lift modules create a contrast to the exclusive bicolour concept of the interior with aniline leather in black and light grey.
 
The drive: sporty e-performance thanks to output of over 600 hp
Two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PSM) with a system output of more than 600 hp (440 kW) allow the Mission E Cross Turismo to accelerate to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to reach a speed of 200 km/h in under 12 seconds. Furthermore, the level of continuous power is unmatched by any other electric vehicle: multiple accelerations are possible in direct succession without loss of performance. Power is guaranteed on any surface thanks to on-demand all-wheel drive with Porsche Torque Vectoring, which automatically distributes torque to individual wheels.
 
The chassis: adaptive air suspension for comfort and agility
The all-wheel steering contributes to the exemplary agility and stability of the vehicle. Adaptive air suspension increases the ground clearance by up to 50 millimetres. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is also on board, providing active roll stabilisation and preventing side tilt of the vehicle when cornering and reducing lateral rocking of the vehicle on uneven surfaces.
 
The display and operating concept: a unique user experience
The innovative display and operating concept is a design highlight of the Mission E Cross Turismo. Intuitive operation and information that is optimally positioned in the field of vision, such as the head-up display, do not distract the driver. Thanks to new connectivity solutions, the vehicle can also be perfectly integrated into a digital lifestyle. The result is a unique user experience.
 
Here are the most important displays and operating options:
Driver display with eye-tracking control: The instrument cluster comprises three virtual round instruments that are divided into areas for Porsche Connect, performance, drive, energy and Sport Chrono. Using a camera in the rear-view mirror, the eye-tracking system detects which instrument the driver is looking at. The displays he or she can see are then brought to the foreground, while others are made smaller when the driver looks away. Operations are carried out using smart touch controls on the steering wheel.
 
Passenger display: This screen extends across the full width of the passenger side. Using eye-tracking and touch screen technology, the passenger can operate various apps to control features such as media, navigation and air conditioning as well as contact lists.
Centre console touch panel with detailed information menus.
 
Small touch screens: These are placed both in the multifunctional window lift modules (for seat adjustment and comfort functions) as well as in the slatted air vents on the right and left of the dashboard. For example, swiping from left to right can increase the fan speed.
The ‘smart cabin’ approach simplifies operation. Vehicle settings, interior climate and ambient lighting are automatically adapted in line with the preferences of the occupants and the driving situation.
Even outside the vehicle, the driver can access a wide range of information and make settings: all customisation options can be planned ahead using a tablet, smartphone or smartwatch – from air conditioning to on-board navigation.
 
Source: Porsche Newsroom
 
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