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Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Your Windshield

Your car might not have eyes, but it could see as well you can soon.

At UC San Diego, a team of researchers has created a pedestrian detection algorithm that’s better than any existing system right now, in terms of quickness and accuracy. It can recognize people like a human driver can, in terms of recognition speed. While it’s still a long way from being put into a vehicle, it’s a promising development in the field of advanced driving assistance systems.

The video above depicts the similar technology. You can see that the system detects the pedestrians both in the crosswalk and on the sidewalk. Being able to spot the pedestrians from a distance could make the difference between a last-minute maneuver and an easy brake.

While this is a new development in advanced technology, you might have other advanced driving assistance systems in your vehicle. For example, your car may be able to sense what is around you when you’re trying to back up or parallel park, and it will tell you how close you are to an obstruction.

If you have any of these systems, you should consider a windshield repair over a windshield replacement if it’s possible. This technology relies on a system of precisely placed sensors and parts to ensure it works accurately. Some of these sensors could be on the front of your vehicle, and rely on the placement of the windshield. Choosing a windshield repair ensures that all of your internal components of your vehicle stay exactly where they are, and keeps your system running worry-free.

Even if you have a cracked windshield, it may also be repairable. Make sure that the next time you need damaged repaired on your windshield, that you pick the option that’s right for both you and your vehicle.

Giving Tuesday 2015

It’s Giving Tuesday (or as seen in social media, #GivingTuesday) – a day dedicated to bringing everyone together to give back.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, here is a short statement from Giving Tuesday:
Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we wanted to give recognition to our Alaska team and their tireless efforts to their community and At Speedy We Care.

DSC_0290Recently, our Alaskan Speedy Glass branches sponsored a dog derby race put on by the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association. With several events like canicross, bikejor, scooter and dog rig, for both men and women, participants at this International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA) sanctioned event were able to compete with their family, friends and community supporting them. Thank you to David Pahlke for the photo, right.

20151002_082445Our branches were also able to generate donations for the Brother Francis Shelter, part of Catholic Social Services, in Anchorage. We have collected a variety of items, like toiletries, paper goods and warm winter clothing and accessories, for users of the shelter. This year, we were able to expand our reach and collect items in Wasilla and Eagle River as well.

Congratulations to our Alaska team and their continued service to the community.

Getting Ready for Fall

The nights are cooler, the days are shorter; fall is definitely here. Fall can get busy, and items on the to-do list can get pushed further and further down the order. One of the things you shouldn’t ignore is getting your vehicle ready for the colder weather. Even though winter hasn’t come yet, it’s best to not delay your to-do list. Routine checks and maintenance should be performed, like ensuring your antifreeze system is in tip-top shape, as well as ensuring all heating and defrosting functions are in good order. It’s also a good idea to stock your trunk with a winter emergency kit, including weather-appropriate tools (ice scraper/snowbrush if necessary), extra blankets and clothes, and a first aid kit.

A to-do that often gets missed, however, is making sure your windshield is in good shape. Make sure that if your windshield is in need of a repair, get it done as soon as you notice it. As an example, if it rains during the day and cools at night to the freezing point, any moisture that is sitting on the damage will freeze and expand. This is one of the main reasons chips can spread to cracks, or cracks can lengthen, overnight. By taking a proactive approach and getting damage repaired right away, there’s a chance you can avoid replacing the windshield altogether.

If the damage does grow to an extent where the windshield has to be replaced, it’s important to get that service completed right away as well. Depending on your local driving laws, it is a possibility that driving with a damaged windshield can earn you a traffic ticket. It is especially important to get service if the damage is in the line of sight of the driver, as it can become a serious safety hazard.

Read more about windshield replacement.

Don’t Leave Anyone in a Hot Car – Here’s Why

A Canadian journalist spent an hour in a car with the windows rolled up on a warm day, just under 80 F. Her intent was to emulate how it feels to be inside a hot car. How hot do you think the car was inside at the hour mark?

a. 90F
b. 100F
c. 110F
d. 120F

The answer is… none of the above. After 60 minutes, the temperature inside was 126F. To put things into perspective, that’s the record high at Death Valley’s Cow Creek Station. It’s one thing to be in that heat in Death Valley, but could you imagine being in that heat, in a locked vehicle, and unable to get out?

Lorraine was carefully monitored, and she was able to get out, but not everyone is able to. Leaving young children or pets inside is a health hazard that is completely avoidable. Heat stroke, or worse, is a likely outcome. Be safe this summer and make sure that no one – child or pet – is left behind in a hot vehicle.

Read Lorraine’s full account here.

What Would You Do?

Speedy-Windshield_Chip-cropLet’s say you have a chip in your windshield, and it looks like the one to the right. What do you do?

a) Ignore it
b) Wait for it become a crack
c) Try and repair it yourself

Unless you have some training, you’re probably not trying option C. The answer is actually not any of the other options above – what you should really do is get it repaired immediately, and it’s important to get a trained professional to do the job, like any of our team members.

Getting your windshield repaired in a timely fashion is critical. Windshields are one of the most important components to vehicle safety, especially in the case of impact. Any sort of damage can compromise the glass, and the safety of everyone inside the vehicle. Windshield repair is specifically designed to restore structural integrity first, meaning that a properly repaired windshield will be safe to drive with.
If the chip is left to become a crack, it increases your chances of needing a replaced. Cracks can be repaired, but again, time is of the essence. Another drawback of waiting to repair is that waiting allows for tiny debris to sit on the glass and in the void left by the damage, making it more difficult to complete a proper repair.

Get the facts about windshield repair – it could be the right option for you. It saves you time and money! A chip repair does not take as long to perform, and you may be able to avoid replacing your windshield altogether.

Your Windshield and the Environment

Today is the 45th Earth Day. An Earth Day was originally proposed to the United Nations to be celebrated on March 21st, and is still observed, but the Earth Day we are celebrating today was founded by former Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day started as an environmental teach-in, with Americans coming together to demonstrate support for environmental reform, and has grown into an international celebration of awareness, observed by over 190 countries every year.

OVUS® Repair SystemThough key benefits of windshield repair include saving you, as a customer, time and money, those are not the only reasons we advocate for repairing when possible. Repair also restores the structural integrity of your windshield, and preserves existing glass. The other main benefit, however, is that choosing not to replace first helps minimize adverse effects on the environment.

At Speedy We Care is centered on community growth and contributions, but we care about the environment as well. When a windshield is replaced, the material isn’t able to be processed the same way as other glass products, like beverage bottles. Due to special treatments, like lamination, the damaged material cannot be traditionally recycled. Repair can help reduce waste by replacing only when there is no other solution. Our teams are equipped with industry leading NOVUS® technology to ensure the best repair possible.

There are, however, some cases where a replacement is necessary. Having cracks resembling spider webs from edge to edge, for instance, is one situation. If you are able to repair though, our team will be able to take care of your vehicle and help you reduce your personal environmental waste.

Credit for historical info to Wikipedia.

Considering the Types of Windshield Damage

Windshield damage is usually classified in two categories: a chip that can be repaired, or a windshield with damage severe enough that means it has to be replaced.

shutterstock_171148832_smChips are fairly easy to diagnose. They are traditionally caused by debris hitting the windshield, like a pebble on the road, and do not break through the glass. The second category, damage requiring a new windshield, is a bit more open. Of course, if damage is so severe that the glass damage resembles the picture to the right, it is time for a new windshield. Other cases would be if the glass has bent, or something has broken clean through it.

What if, however, you only have a crack? Cracks can happen when a rock chip is left to its own devices, and the elements cause it to spread. The last time you had a crack, you might have been told that it wasn’t repairable, and that you should get a replacement.

In some circumstances, however, you can repair a crack! It’s important not to wait too long, however, because the longer a crack sits, the tougher it is to repair. It is always best to get an evaluation done, however. Is a crack right for you? Read up on it and see.

Technology and Your Car

If you’ve driven a newer car lately, you might have noticed that it has some features that your first car probably didn’t have. Heated seats and steering wheels might not be new to you, but assisted parallel parking or pedestrian warnings are more likely to be. These types of systems are called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) – and are becoming increasingly popular.

Vehicles are getting smarter every year, with the technology integrated into them slowly increasing. ADAS is one of the most popular ways to put in new technology. These systems operate using cameras and sensors placed within the car in order to make the experience smoother and easier for the driver.

Watch some of this amazing technology in action below, as BMW previews some developments they’ve made.

One of the crucial things to know about ADAS is that depending on the system inside the vehicle, the sensors and cameras required to keep the system running may be in the windshield. Repairs should not be done if the damage is in front of any of these components – a replacement is the only option. However, since some systems can require additional attention and recalibration after a replacement, a repair may be preferable, if possible. You should ensure you know the pros and cons of your situation before undertaking any work on a damaged windshield.

At Speedy We Care

Food bank donations from our Bothell, WA location.

Food bank donations from our Bothell, WA location.

Last month, we launched At Speedy We Care, a program dedicated to helping our branches contribute to and elevate their surrounding communities. In everything we do, we focus on the goals below:

  • Forming and supporting more vibrant communities
  • Building bridges with other community members to amplify contribution
  • Increasing our team engagement with the company and community

In December, we were able to give to numerous boxes of toys, food and warm clothes for the holiday season throughout Alaska, Washington and Montana. Additionally, our Great Falls, MT branch held a fundraiser for St. Jude throughout the month, raising over $900. We are also happy to note that our Tigard, OR branch is now a designated drop off center for Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Keep up with our program here, on the At Speedy We Care tag, or through our Facebook and Twitter.