Tuesday, 29 June 2021 14:09

June CIECAST Explores Future of AI in the Collision Repair Industry

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...a strong indication the market is keen to embrace a modern AI driven claims workflow.”


Body shops benefit from digital adoption with faster cycle times, improved productivity and better customer service. According to du Toit, AI-driven processes also “drive efficiency and higher margins. Shops are increasingly pressured to have skills and capabilities to deal with more complex repairs and consumer demands towards automation.


“The main benefits body shops can attain through implementing AI-driven technology in their businesses are faster cycle times across the repair process, as well as enhanced customer communications," du Toit said. "Shops also enjoy productivity improvements because AI guides technicians through the appropriate repair procedures and minimizes the requirement for researching appropriate procedures. It helps employees in a body shop do the right thing without having to spend hours figuring out what that right thing is.”


Alluding to the lack of skilled technicians entering the collision industry, du Toit pointed out AI-driven technology “lessens the burden for experience and knowledge by providing appropriate repair procedures and data for verification and guidance. Technology helps make the decisions and allows the technician to focus more on the execution of the repair. The end goal for the body shop is to repair more vehicles and to be more efficient in doing so.


"My guidance to body shops and MSOs is to embrace this technology today, or face the danger of being left behind.”


du Toit examined how Computer Vision enables photo estimating in the claims process, providing an opportunity to bring speed and consistency to the damage estimating process through scalable technology that can be trusted. An automated line-by-line estimate can be generated within a few minutes after photos of the damaged vehicle are submitted. Machine learning detects damages from images, removing subjectivity and increasing consistency.


Insurers use AI technology to “enhance the decision making at first notification of loss in terms of triage, ensuring that total losses do not enter the repair workflow,” du Toit said. “The most relevant benefit for a body shop appraiser is...