Managing Vehicle Complexity with a Seamless Diagnostics Experience
Vice President, Market Solutions
New vehicle technology is changing the way we drive – from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that tell us when to pump the brakes (or even pump the brakes for us), to connected mobile apps in our consoles to navigate the road and play music, to 360 cameras to see everything around us. These technologies are not just changing the driving experience, they’re changing the repair experience too. More complex vehicles create more complex repairs after an accident, and that complexity is only increasing as the number of ADAS-equipped vehicles on the road increases. Auto body and auto glass include sensors, cameras, radar and lidar and other complex material to computerize vehicle safety and automated features. The number of parts embedded in the bumper of a car has more than doubled in the last 15 years.1
Precision matters when replacing these parts during repairs, and the challenge for collision repairers is keeping pace with the evolution of vehicle technology with the right tools and skills.
“The wide variation in technologies being used by automakers creates new challenges for collision repairers, where the importance of understanding each individual vehicle has become critical,” explained CCC Analyst Susanna Gotsch in the midyear Crash Course report. “Adding further complexity, calibration requirements can vary dramatically by automaker or even by individual vehicle.”
Understanding ADAS-equipped vehicles requires more expertise, not to mention more time and often more costs which can impact on customer satisfaction. Average cycle time has grown from 8.3 days in 2015 (before many of today’s vehicles were equipped with ADAS) to 10 days in 2021 (when vehicles equipped with ADAS account for more than 35% of all repairable appraisals.)2
The mid-year Crash Course report includes new research commissioned by CCC to examine drivers’ perceptions of ADAS technology, including expectations for repairs of ADAS-equipped vehicles. Drivers have high expectations for how ADAS should perform after an accident; nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of responding drivers expect their ADAS to work just as well as it did pre- collision, while one-quarter (24 percent) expect it to be slightly less effective.
Diagnostic scanning technology will play an increasingly vital role in helping collision repairers confirm they have returned vehicles to pre-accident condition. Checking the adaptive cruise control, lane departure, and other systems has led to a more than 900% increase in diagnostics usage over the past several years, according to CCC estimating data, and it isn’t slowing down. Seventy-five percent of CY 2020 appraisals included at least two distinct scan entries on average. In CY 2019, just over four percent of all appraisals included replacement of electronic components such as sensors, cameras and radars. By CY 2020, this grew to nearly six percent.3
New technology is also increasing the cost of repairs and many components require diagnostics to confirm proper installation or to meet repair procedures. The average cost per camera (including labor) was $110, and the average cost per distance sensor (including labor) was $577. The cost per calibration scan is a wide range, from an average fee of $259 to a maximum fee of over $14,000.4
As the use of diagnostics is increasing, CCC is making the integrations to diagnostics scanning tools and data easier – helping repair facilities plan for the needs of tomorrow while saving time today. CCC Diagnostics integrates directly with scanning devices that are compatible across nearly every vehicle make and model, with multiple scan types available. CCC Diagnostics also directly connects repairers withdiagnostics capabilities. Scan reports attach directly to the repair file in CCC ONE and for clients using repair workflow integrate into the invoices process – no need for rekeying. One platform brings it all together – with OEM scan results and OEM repair methods all available in CCC ONE – for an efficient, informed repair.
1 – Analysis by CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.