New Chief Constellation system to automatically estimate PDR hail damage

Chief announced Tuesday it would this hail season present an automated system in a position to identify and measure vehicle hail dents and convey an estimate to fix them.

The Constellation technology “eliminates the requirement for an adjuster to manually evaluate the damage,” Chief wrote inside a news release, calling it a cheaper and more accurate system than a human adjuster. Chief indicated the technology followed the acquisition of the items had been known as Vehicle Hail Scan System.

Bob Finkle, Vehicle Hail Scan System co-developer, said Thursday we've got the technology could be available to customers in time for the typical spring oncoming of hail season.

Constellation resembles a little tunnel and can accommodate vehicles up to concerning the size an F-350, based on Finkle, who now functions as a brand manager at Chief parent company Vehicle Service Group. It can be deployed to some hail damage site within 24 hours of having the phone call with a client, he explained.

Finkle said the machine counts and measures hail dents using 3-D scanning technology instead of image recognition. Its performance isn’t dependent on a database of vehicle bodies, which Finkle said could be “almost impossible” to stock with every vehicle functioning and updated. Instead, it’s able to review any surface with a hail dent, he explained. “It doesn’t matter if it’s on the refrigerator,” he explained.

“Chief Collision Technology is constantly on the look for methods to bring cutting-edge technology towards the automotive industry,” Vehicle Service Group global business development development V . p . said inside a statement Tuesday. “The tools and expertise necessary to repair today's vehicles properly is easily advancing. Constellation allows us to grow our portfolio of technology services and products and expand into new industries.”

Finkle said a vehicle will get several minutes of triage just before activating the Constellation technology, with staff checking for elements like previous unreported damage and broken windows.

After that’s done, the Constellation tech examines the car and convey approximately record for “PDR dents” in 2-4 minutes, according to Finkle. The system’s wheelhouse is “PDR that may be repaired,” he explained. Some operations like R&Is may also be present on the estimate, he explained. “We do calculate that,” he said.

The system doubles for instances of “combo repair” including both PDR and bodywork, according to Finkle. But the Constellation estimate would only capture the hail PDR, he explained. The body shop would need to article any other necessary labor.

Though Constellation today searches for hail strikes, Finkle said plans exist to eventually examine vehicles with collision damage. “We’re likely to be expanding that in the future,” he explained.

‘Over 100’ accuracy

The technology’s hail estimating accuracy is “more than 85 percent” — but it’s “over 100” in comparison with status quo hail estimating, according to Finkle.

Human hail estimates today can depend on imprecise “bucket” estimating, such as declaring a 2-dent surface falls within a range just like a “1-to-6 bucket” he explained.

“We’re a lot more accurate,” he said.

A hail estimator’s technique today might also proceed like reviewing one fourth of the hood for hail damage and then multiplying those findings by four, according to Finkle.

Since Constellation actually delivers a precise count, its accuracy obviously is “well over 100” compared to a bucket approach, Finkle said.

The technology also exceeds human performance by tallying all of the dents at once. Hail claims can often mean “a lot of supplements,” based on Finkle. An adjuster will count “what he is able to see” in the field, but bringing the vehicle to some repair shop reveals “half of the car was missed,” he said.

Currently, a “tremendous” rate of supplements arose, he said. “That’s the actual way it is,” he explained.

But “you’re not gonna need that supplement” with Constellation, based on Finkle.

Finkle said Chief is certifying PDR providers, beginning with National Hail and Dent. If your client wishes, Chief will make these partners open to fix the automobile while using estimate generated by the Constellation software.

“They guarantee no supplements,” Finkle said of National Hail and Dent. He explained the PDR company “tested this and they’re fine with it.”

Chief is currently seeking other PDR companies interested in a similar partnership. It seeks “the best” and has certain criteria that must be met, he said.

Various services

The ability for a customer to request PDR repairs belongs to the business model Chief has adopted for Constellation. Instead of selling the system to a customer outright, Chief will temporarily deploy it to some hail scene.

Finkle estimated that a client would need to be faced with about “over 100-plus” vehicles during a hail event to justify deploying the machine. He explained Chief would be amenable to smaller clients pooling demand and sending their vehicles to some Constellation site.

“With the addition of our hail scanning solution, combined with a complete hail claim management service and authorized PDR repair network, we will be able to deliver significant time and cost savings towards the industry,” Finkle said in a statement Tuesday. “This innovative technology solution will transform the way in which dealerships, fleet managers and insurance companies address hail damage claims and the repair process.”

A client can easily pay by the scan for hail estimates, but Chief will offer to enhance this having a menu of add-on services, such as making PDR providers open to execute the estimate labor.

Chief will even sell customers the option of a more in-depth estimate compared to version generated through automation. As noted above, Constellation’s default estimate capture PDR dents plus some relevant labor, such as R&Is. But a customer could also pay to have Chief manually research and can include other OEM procedures related to those R&Is that if that’s something some insurance company desires, “which hopefully it is,” Finkle said.

The Constellation webpage also mentions “ADAS Diagnostic Scanning.” Asked about this, Finkel explained this referenced another service Chief offered, not technology incorporated into the Constellation device itself.

“We’re disrupting the hail industry,” he said.

PDR can require R&Is of various components, and “that can be a major problem” if sensors are present, Finkle said. Advanced driver assistance system performance may be affected. Chief will offer you the ability to perform diagnostic scans and conduct calibrations on-site with the Chief Mosaic system if insurer customers wish — “that they should,” Finkle said.

He said Chief would rely on intelligence like OBD-II scan data and VIN lookups to determine features requiring calibration.

Asked in regards to a ballpark cost for Constellation, Finkle said hello simply depended on the individual insurer’s demands. Chief offered “a lot of options” for Constellation, he explained.

But Finkle observed that if a person adopted the whole package of Chief options, “we’re gonna disrupt the industry very hard,” he said. A Constellation estimate would then “be totally free, surprisingly,” Finkle said.

If a person wanted the Constellation hail examination, Chief would charge per scan, Finkle said. But when they embraced the whole Chief menu of services, “it may be as little as zero. … That’s a game title changer.”

Finkle believed to consider the cost underneath the traditional hailstorm process compared to what Chief offered. An estimator may be on-site for any month, generating expenses like travel costs and overtime, he explained. Chief can complete at least 10-12 vehicles each hour, he said — 100-120 vehicles inside a 10-hour deployment day.

“Constellation's technology eliminates the need for an adjuster to manually evaluate the damage, thereby reducing expenses and improving the accuracy of estimates,” Chief’s news release states.