It’s no secret that there are potential effects – both negative and positive – autonomous vehicles (AVs) will have on collision repair, but it’s also a trend that the industry says may be somewhat hard to predict.
It’s a fact that the number of repairs will decrease. That being said, cars are being built with more and more sensors, making the way vehicles are repaired more complex.
The frequency of repairs may decline – particularly in AVs that are fully autonomous (i.e. Level 5) – because they will be “talking” to the infrastructure and will take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision. This, however, is still in the distant future.
The goal of vehicle repair is obviously always proper repair, but it is more important than ever with AVs to ensure it is done correctly because the vehicles will be driving themselves.
Maintenance trends will also evolve because fully autonomous vehicles will require less but more advanced maintenance – such as Over-the-Air (OTA) updates. Repairs not only need to be done to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications but by well-educated certified technicians using correct materials. This focus on OEM-approved materials is imperative.
Using approved structural adhesives and following OEM repair procedures is already important in automotive repair, but we must continue to recognize the critical role products play and ensure they stay continually connected to OEM teams.