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National Windscreens, the UK’s largest independently owned windscreen repair and replacement specialist have announced that they will be unveiling a new 'Advanced Driver Assistance System' during this year's Commercial Vehicle Show that is taking place at the Birmingham NEC this month.

This will be the second year that National Windscreens will have exhibited at the popular event and this year the company's stand will be focusing on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These systems include lane departure warnings, keep lane support and predictive emergency braking. and will be covering how an increasing number of vehicles are now having these technologies fitted as standard.

National Windscreens technician

National windscreens have stated that they want fleet owners to be made aware that the rise of ADAS in vehicles means that more vehicles will need camera recalibration after having their windscreens replaced.

Technical manager for National Windscreens Tim Camm has commented saying, "An increasing number of vehicles have ADAS technology fitted on the windscreen in the form of a camera and, if the glass needs replacing, it is essential that these cameras are calibrated as well or else the safety features won’t work properly and drivers could be putting themselves and other road users at risk."

"This calibration work is best done in workshop conditions and the fact we have 108 fitting centres means we are well placed to offer this service to fleet customers, with the average UK driver never more than 11 miles or 20 minutes away from a National Windscreens technician."

Camm also said that, "I will be attending the Commercial Vehicle Show so I can explain more about what ADAS means for fleet customers, many of whom we already work with and others who we hope to work with in the future. ADAS is only going to grow in popularity and a better understanding now will ensure fleet customers are fully prepared for the changes needed with their autoglazing services."

"As a company, we have already invested £1million to ensure we can offer calibration in all of our fitting centres and ensure we remain the autoglazing supplier of choice for fleets who cannot afford to have their vehicles off the road for any length of time"

National Windscreens provide autoglazing services to 95 of the UK’s top 100 HGV fleets as well as more than 32 car fleets in the FN50 car fleets, which, thanks to their award-winning software, Partscheck, means that just by entering the vehicle’s number plate, the correct windscreen glass can be found for that vehicle in 99.5% of cases, a leading industry figure, which means National Windscreens gets it right first time for the vast majority of customers.

This year's Commercial Vehicle Show being held later on this month is looking to be the busiest yet with more than 460 exhibitors and all of the stand space sold out for the event.

Following trend from the events that took place in 2014 and 2015, every available square meter of display space in halls 3a, 4 and 5 at the Birmingham NEC has been allocated to exhibitors from a range of different industries such as road transport, distribution and logistics supply, making this year's show a 'must visit' event for anyone in the sector.

While all of the exhibiting space has been snapped up there is still time to register for free tickets to attend the event via The Commercial Vehicle Show 2016 website.

Commercial Vehicle Show 2016

What to expect?

This year will see more light commercial vehicle launches than ever before with manufacturers like Citroen, Toyota, Isuzu, LDV and DFSK confirming that they will be showing off new models for the very first time.

The newest technologies for 2016 will be at the forefront of this event with operators able to compare the latest developments in driver management, compliance, safety as well as real-time fleet management from a range of different telematics and software suppliers.

Fiat have updated their popular Fiorino small van for 2016.

Fiat Fiorino

The 2016 model keeps its smaller compact dimensions making it perfect for driving in urban areas, navigating through traffic and securing hard-to-find city centre parking spaces.

Fans of the Fiorino need not worry as the updated vehicle retains its fantastic load capacity of up to 2.8m3 and payload capacity of up to 600kg. There are large rear doors that can be opened up to 180 degrees and an accessible sliding side door. Both the rear and side doors feature vertical handles that can be easily opened from any side as seen in the image below.

Fiat Fiorino verticle handles on side door

The new Fiorino offers a lineup of Euro 6 compliant engines; one 1.4-litre 73hp unit and two 1.3-litre MultiJet II turbodiesel; one at 79hp and the other punching out at 94hp.

Internally the Fiorino has also received a facelift with a restyled dash that offers better storage, you'll also find that the steering wheel has been redesigned and now comes with remote stereo controls and leather trim. Also being offered for the first time is a new five-inch colour, touchscreen infotainment system that comes fully equipped with Bluetooth, USB/AUX port, satellite navigation and DAB radio.

Fiat Fiorino redesigned dash and infotainment system

The new vehicle will be available for order in mid-April with the final specifications and pricing to be announced closer to the vehicle's release date.

Vauxhall's Vivaro Combi minibus has made the perfect vehicle for The Children's Trust charity.

The Children's Trust is the UK's leading charity for children with brain injury. They run a range of specialist care, education and therapy services for children and young people from across the UK, including the UK's largest rehabilitation centre for children with acquired brain injury (ABI).

Thanks to funding from The Presidents Club Charitable Trust, London and a conversion by Gowrings, the new minibus will be used to help provide stress-free transport to children receiving life altering rehabilitation. The Vauxhall Vivaro has removable second and third row bench seats which makes the vehicle easily adaptable as well as wheelchair accessible - the perfect choice for The Children's Trust.

The Children's Trust Vauxhall Vivaro minibus

The Vauxhall Vivaro was chosen based on a whole life cost analysis run by vehicle suppliers Lex Autolease in which Vauxhall's Vivaro vans were shown to be the most cost-effective models when compared against vehicles of the same size and function.

Children’s Trust transport manager Richard Fauvet has commented on the new vehicle saying, "We’re overjoyed to have this fantastic new minibus and we are extremely grateful to The Presidents Club Charitable Trust for their generous donation."

"When families arrive at The Children’s Trust, they have often spent months in hospital since the accident or illness that caused their child’s brain injury. Visits home, hospital appointments and outings are crucial to every child’s rehabilitation, so having new accessible vehicles to make this stress free is a big deal that makes a real difference to the children and families that come here."

James Taylor, Vauxhall’s fleet sales director also noted The Children's Trust's choice of vehicle commenting, "We are proud that The Children’s Trust chose the Vivaro to aid its vital work supporting children living with brain injuries and their families,"

"We work hard to provide our customers with the assistance they need throughout the vehicles’ life, beyond the initial delivery and including training and fleet servicing."

The Children's Trust needs to raise over £100,000 a year to run and maintain its transport service for children with brain injury. To donate £5 text CHILD to 70800.

The ACFO (The premier Organisation for Fleet Operators) will be holding a 'master class' designed to help reduce the number of unfit vans being driven on UK roads.

The seminar will be called "A Van for all Reasons" and is being held to help ensure that vehicles adhere to best practice and compliance. There are around 3.6 million vans on UK roads according to data from the Department of Transport, however figures published by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) reveal that around half of large vans are failing their MOT at first submission - suggesting that many vehicles are unfit for being used on the road.

D&W Autos (Adj Colouring)
John Pryor ACFO chairman has commented, "Many of our members are predominantly car fleet operators, but also have a small number of vans."

"However, even if in charge of a large van fleet, there will be something to learn from a speaker line-up delivering a master class on operating best practice from vehicle selection and fitting out through in-life management and, critically, embracing legislative compliance."

Pryor also added, "The seminar will provide expert advice and information on everything a fleet operator needs to know when running vans."

Hosted by Mercedes-Benz and supported by in-vehicle equipment manufacturer and supplier Bott Group as well as vehicle leasing and fleet management company Lex Autolease, the event will take place at the De Vere Harben conference centre in Newport Pagnell and will be running from 9.30am until 2.45pm on Thursday 5th May.

For more information on the event visit the ACFO event page for 'ACFO Spring Seminar 2016 - A Van for all Reasons'

Photo © Emyr Jones via Flickr under creative commons licence.