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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 04 January 2022 12:38

Fully Automated AI Collision Repair Estimating ‘Not There Yet’

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Dune Pagaduan of Mitchell International said AI can help collision repair businesses increase consistency in their estimating. Dune Pagaduan of Mitchell International said AI can help collision repair businesses increase consistency in their estimating.

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A panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in November included representatives from a number of technology companies touting the potential benefits---for auto body shops and insurers---of artificial intelligence (AI) estimating, but also acknowledging some of its current limitations.

“We’re not there yet, 100%, with straight-through processing,” said Dune Pagaduan of Mitchell International, referring to AI being capable of completing all estimates without human interaction. “So is AI real? Sure, it assists us in making and automating decisions, thousands at a time…more quickly so that we shrink cycle time. But you still need experts, humans, to complete the whole process.”

 

He said AI systems can currently write accurate estimates on “low-severity collisions.”

 

“But when you get to higher severity type collisions---more complex, more parts---then that’s the journey we have to go to get to that 100%,” he said. “I think in the next two to three years, we’ll get there.”

 

The panelists were asked if any AI system built on historical data can identify substrates, systems and OEM procedures for nearly new vehicles often involved in collisions.

 

“That is the challenge,” Pagaduan said, noting historical data ideally needs to be paired with other information in the system, like OEM build sheet data and OEM repair procedures for the specific vehicle. “So not everything is AI. We combine it with the OEM procedures and our editorial data to produce that specific accurate estimate."

 

In discussing what AI estimating offers shops specifically, the panelists noted the wide variance in estimates often seen even when different estimators look at the same vehicle. AI can help collision repair businesses increase consistency in their estimating, Pagaduan said.

 

Panelist Jason Verlen of CCC Intelligent Solutions said it also offers shops access to photos and information even before the customer arrives.

 

He noted as recently as three years ago, fewer than 1% of vehicle claims involved photo-estimating.

 

“As of today, roughly 22% of repairable claims go through the process,” he said. “And we have some carriers on our system where...


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