Driverless Cars and the Future of Body Shops

Every technological advancement comes with a price. An innovation that means growth and improvement for one sector could easily devastate another. One of the major tech trends right now is the driverless cars. Not just a thing of the future, cars that require no actual human driver to operate are actually being tested (probably in a city near you.) But it’s not just car manufacturers and dealers that will be affected by these high tech vehicles once they are on the market. According to CBInsights, there are over 33 different industries that could turn upside down when driverless cars become a mainstay. Want to guess number 2? If you said, auto body shops, you’re correct.

Driverless Cars: What We Know

Driverless cars, also known as autonomous cars or self-driving cars, use a system of automated intelligence (AI) along with sensors and other tech to travel without a human driver behind the wheel. With people no longer having to drive themselves everywhere, industries all across the world will be hard hit.

Hotels and airlines for example. If you could nap or relax while cruising to your destination, there would be little need to stop for rest or to take a plane for longer distances. The same is true with auto part makers and even litigators.

But if body shops will be the second hardest hit by the introduction of driverless cars into the mainstream, which industry ranks first? The car insurance industry. With fewer wrecks, insurance agencies will have fewer risks to cover. Less demand equaling less money.

auto stiegler team photo
Self-Driving Car Error and future of body shops

Driverless cars and Future of Body Shops

And the same can certainly be said for auto body shops. More than 90% of crashes in the United States are due to human error. Self-driving cars don’t get tired, drunk, or sick. They don’t get distracted by cell-phones or pull out in front of other vehicles because of road rage.

So just how safe are they? Pretty darn safe. Although Waymo (Google’ driverless car program) has reported several crashes since beginning its program, it has also clocked over 8 million miles. When you compare these stats to those of human drivers, the difference in safety is astounding

There is no doubt that as the tech improves driverless cars will become safer and safer, reducing the number of accident and therefore the need for auto body repairs. No crashes, no repairs, right? Not necessarily. Although the an increase in driverless cars  on the road will definitely affect the body shop industry, it’s unlikely that it would shut it down altogether. After all, there will always be people who want their vehicles painted, need windshields replaced, or come in to have dents and dings repaired, even on their driverless vehicles.

While we are waiting for these future cars to become the present, Orlando Auto Body would love to help you with any of your auto body repair needs. Simply  Click here  for an estimate from our highly qualified staff or give us a call at 480-428-2783.