Sunday, 21 December 2014 16:00

Collision Avoidance Technology Will Change Repair Industry

Recent research on collision avoidance technology found that an estimated 30 percent of collision repairs could be avoided when this type of equipment is fully adopted by car manufacturers, according to Carlisle & Company. This will not only affect drivers and save lives, but it will also influence the future of the auto repair industry.

The Massachusetts-based company studied collision avoidance technology based on data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), The Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI) as well as their own company research. Carlisle & Company provides aftersales strategic guidance and tactical solutions for the major motor vehicle brands.

“Collision avoidance technology is any application that helps drivers and their cars avoid obstacles and other factors that may cause a collision,” said David Carlisle, Chairman of the Board at Carlisle & Company.

The company’s 2014 research specifically focused on the following four types of technologies that are the most common in new vehicles: forward collision, side view assistance, lane departure and adaptive headlights.

The Highway Loss Data Institute estimated that by 2020 approximately 20 percent of all registered vehicles will be built with forward collision warning systems. Carlisle & Company conducted their own research and found that approximately 40 percent of automobiles will be deployed with similar technology by 2022.

When the technology is fully adopted, Carlisle said forward collision systems will result in 3,335,000 avoidable repairs (20%); side view assistance will result in 1,006,000 avoidable repairs (6%); lane departure systems will account for 336,000 avoidable repairs (2%); and adaptive headlights will equate to 362,00 avoidable repairs (2%).

If these estimates hold true, Carlisle predicts a major impact to the auto repair industry. “At this point, 15 percent of all collision repair jobs will be avoided,” he said.

This will not only affect OEMs, whose collision parts make up 35 to 40 percent of their parts revenue, but the independent repair shops as well.

“While collision avoidance ultimately is a good thing as it will save lives, it will certainly force aftermarket facilities and repair shops to adapt to a new market in order to stay afloat,” said Carlisle. “Just because you have collision avoidance sensors on your car, does not mean you’ll rid your life of an auto collision for good,” said Carlisle.

“One of the major challenges is testing this technology on the open road,” he said. “Many of these systems can be challenged on a test track and come back with great results, but nothing is like the real road. The only way to make collision avoidance systems as safe as possible is to test them in as many real-world situations as possible.”


Collision Avoidance on the Road

Used in automobiles since the early 1990s, some of the earliest equipment included backup cameras. Now collision avoidance features are rapidly making their way into new vehicles in all price ranges.

Some of these include the Mobileye technology that detects other vehicles and objects using only a camera and software and is used by BMW AG, General Motors and Tesla Motors; Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist System and Mercedes’ Collision Prevention Assist Plus.

Honda said it is focusing its efforts in regards to collision avoidance technology in three main areas: passive safety technology which mitigates injuries; active technology that may help prevent accidents from happening; and connected and automated vehicles that could attempt to drastically reduce crashes and fatalities.

“Honda is studying real world situations to develop vehicles with advanced collision protection and advanced safety and driver assistive technologies,” said Angie Nucci, Senior Environment and Safety Specialist for Honda Public Relations.

Nucci said some of their technology includes the Acura Watch system available on the 2015 TLX and the Honda Sensing system on the 2015 Honda CR-V Touring model. “Honda Sensing is an integrated camera and radar system to help detect vehicles and pedestrians in front of you,” she explained. This driver assist technology includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch.

Toyota Motor Corporation said it plans to launch new safety technologies in 2015 to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. They will be offered in two “Toyota Safety Sense” packages and rolled out across most passenger models in Japan, North America and Europe by the end of 2017.

These include several of the company’s existing technologies such as the Pre-Collision System that helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Departure Alert that helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam, helping to ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving. In addition, there is an option for a millimeter-wave radar and camera that can detect pedestrians and Radar Cruise Control.

“Toyota’s vision is of a world without traffic fatalities, and these advanced connected and automated vehicle technologies hold the potential to revolutionize automotive safety,” said Seigo Kuzumaki, Chief Safety Technology Officer Secretary for Toyota Motor Corporation. “We are committed to bringing advanced active safety systems to market as quickly as possible and will make them accessible to a broad range of drivers.”

For more information about Carlisle & Company, visit www.carlisle-co.com.