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Technology and Telematics Forum tackles ADAS and autonomy

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 06:00
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ATLANTA — ASA once again hosted its popular Technology and Telematics Forum at the 2018 NACE Automechanika trade show, held at the Georgia World Congress Center August 8-10, in the heart of Atlanta. The six sessions held shared a common theme — the impact Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) were having on both the collision and mechanical repair industry segments and the path these systems were paving on the road to full autonomy.

The Auto Alliance’s Jeff Beck shares the impact autonomous cars will have on reducing highway fatalities.”

Presenters included representatives from Ford, General Motors, VW and Audi as well as leading aftermarket representatives like NASTF Executive Director Donny Seyfer, former ASA Chair Darrell Amberson, and Carquest’s Randy Briggs and Chris Chesney. The sessions were a near equal split between individual presentations and panel discussions that focused on pressing issues facing both collision and mechanical repair business owners, as well as offering observations on what the future may hold for us all.

Here are just a few of the takeaways from these sessions:

From the telematics and claims panel discussion

OEMs and insurers continue to work to become more involved in the collision repair process. The reason is simple and fiscal. Consumers who are dissatisfied with the repairs made to a damaged vehicle are likely to trade in that vehicle for another. Studies have shown that 41 percent of customers unhappy with the repair process were likely to change insurers and 36 percent were likely to change brand of automobile, according to General Motors Collision Wholesale Manager John Eck. That’s a $6 billion market potential for some OEMs – and a potential loss for others. Making sure that the consumer gets a proper and complete repair is vital for insurers and carmakers.

To that end, you’ll see OEMs increase their repair information and training offerings. Eck announced the new GM Certified Collision Repair Network earlier at the show and explained the OEM’s new partnership with Mitchell in providing estimation, repair and parts information in one platform.

Insurance Institute For Highway Safety – Is all this new technology making a difference?

According to David Zuby, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer with the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), the short answer is “yes”. Systems that are considered ADAS include forward collision avoidance systems, blind spot monitoring systems and lane departure warning systems. Add in adaptive lighting, and it is expected that the combination of these systems could reduce the U.S. fatality rate by 30 percent.

These systems are already having an impact, with overall accident rates down. However, the severity (damage cost) of the accidents is on the rise with ADAS systems adding an estimated 32 percent to the cost of collision repairs.

Update on federal autonomous vehicle and new vehicle technology policies

The Auto Alliance’s Jeff Beck led off his presentation by sharing two numbers with the audience. The first was 37,461. This is the number of people who died on American roads in 2016. The second number was 94 percent. This is the percentage of those accidents caused by human error or inattentiveness. ADAS is already having an impact on preserving lives once lost to drivers more interested in their cell phones and morning coffee than to the task of driving.

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