CIIA, Ckure announce roadside app pilot for auto body industry; shops vetted on price, OEM adherence

Read the original article posted here from Repairer Driven News.

The Canadian collision repair industry has entered the race — a competition already underway between OEMs and insurers — to direct drivers to auto body shops immediately after a crash.

A resource for this purpose will be developed by Collision Industry Information Assistance, a leading Canadian trade group for the body shop industry, and Ckure, a startup which has developed a similar app for mechanical breakdowns and towing.

“By having the repair facility responsible for the entire accident process, we have an opportunity to move shops into the future of electronic communications directly with the consumer,” CIIA Executive Director John Norris wrote in an email Monday.

Ckure is a new company — it competed and made it to one of the semifinals stages in N100, Northumberland, Canada’s annual $100,000 startup contest — but at this point, the collision segment of the app is a pilot.

OEMs and insurers are already competing — or collaborating — on services which leverage telematics data to learn if a customer’s vehicle has been in a collision. Basically, the car or a separate device (an OBD-II plugin or smartphone) notifies the automaker or insurer if there’s been a crash.

A call center contacts the driver, dispatches emergency services if necessary and recommends what is most likely an OEM-certified or insurance direct repair program partner

This isn’t science fiction. The capability already exists today for OEMs (the best-known is probably OnStar), and insurers can use a mere smartphone GPS and accelerometer to detect a collision. CCC last week announced DRIVE, a back-end system which helps insurers connect with policyholders at an accident system — and even predict how much damage might exist.

The CIIA-Ckure app isn’t as aggressive; a customer has to push a button on the app to summon assistance. CIIA argued in a news release this passive approach would “protect the customer from unethical sales approaches.”