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Crash Course 2024 report lessons revealed

The Crash Course 2024 report uncovers the impact of growing vehicle complexity on the auto insurance claims and collision repair industries.

The Crash Course Q1 report of 2024 uncovers the impact of growing vehicle complexity on auto-insurance claims in the US and could hold some valuable precedents for the global collision repair industry.

The Australia repair industry, often a few steps behind the United States in dealing with vehicle models and techniques, can expect the report findings to be a great tool for future challenges in the local automotive industry.

The main discussions of the report revolved around ADAS and its prevalence in new vehicles. The report also highlighted the complexities of ADAS and the challenges it brings to the repair industry including the increased cost of repairs.

The Crash Course report highlights three factors that are responsible for the increase of vehicle complexity.

Factor 1 – Technology Advancements

Today’s vehicles are ultra connected, high tech, and structurally sophisticated. Electronics have been steadily integrated into cars to augment safety and autonomy, to support navigation and provide system monitoring, connectivity, and more.

The addition of lightweight materials, such as sensors, cameras, and other electronics have contributed to an increase in the overall number of vehicle components, ramping up repair complexity and associated costs.

Research from AAA found that ADAS equipped vehicles can add up to 37 per cent to the total repair cost after a crash due to the expensive sensors and calibration requirements.

Image: Crash Course 2024
Factor 2 – Vehicle technology won’t be too costly forever

Experian data shows that as of Q3 2023, there were nearly 290 million light duty vehicles in operation in the US. While the average age of these vehicles is expected to grow to 12.7 years in 2024, more of these vehicles than ever before include ADAS.

Features like ADAS became more mainstream in 2016, and in less than a decade, 2016 models and newer, now account for nearly 40 per cent of all light duty vehicles in the United States.

As more electronic content is added to vehicles with each new model year, the corresponding uptick in the number of scans, calibrations and replacement parts needed per repair should come as no surprise.

Image: Crash Course 2024
Factor 3 – Materials and Construction

Modern vehicles incorporate advanced materials like high-strength alloys and composites to reduce weight while maintaining structural integrity.

The pursuit of innovation in vehicle design, production and functionality, coupled with the demand for greener and more technologically advanced vehicles, has bred greater sophistication, which makes repairing them more complex.

The availability of alternative parts and more opportunities for repair versus replace have also factored into keeping repair costs for older models less expensive. The difference today is the widening costs disparity between the oldest and newest vehicle models, underscoring the dramatic ramp-up in vehicle complexity that has occurred with crash avoidance and connected car technologies.

Image: Crash Course 2024

The Crash Course report also cites the importance of the relationships between manufactures, tech companies, insurers and policymakers to be vital in crafting a coherent strategy that balances safety, innovation, and affordability.

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