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Preparing For The Next Wave Of Automotive Technology

Since the turn of the millennium, automotive technology has moved forward in leaps and bounds

From a customer perspective, the experience of driving and owning cars manufactured in the year 2000 is poles apart from those coming off today’s production lines.

Important Automotive Tech MilestonesFrom the perspective of the independent workshop, these new technologies present a number of challenges to overcome. These include:

  • Accessing technical information from OEMs
  • Accessing quality parts at a competitive price
  • Ensuring technicians are trained to service new technologies
  • Hiring apprentices with the required skills
  • Investing in specialist tools and diagnostic equipment
  • Meeting customer needs and expectations

The following timeline highlights some of the major automotive technology milestones from the last two decades.

These technologies deliver a wide range of benefits, including increased vehicle safety
and security, more fuel efficient drivetrains, navigation support, interactive and integrated communications and entertainment systems, and different levels of autonomous driving.

What is also clear is that many of these technologies have been with us for a significant period of time, which means workshops should have some level of familiarity with the servicing requirements.

What’s changed though is that looking back to 2005, cars with built-in Bluetooth, navigation, and parking sensors were only seen in the top luxury vehicles. Now, many of the most affordable base models have these technologies as standard (or options at the very least).
Recent innovations in automotive

We have also seen some technologies becoming branded and ubiquitous to a brand or model range, such as Mazda Skyactiv which went into production from 2012. Others are more niche and have not witnessed widespread adoption, such as the Toyota Prius.

Taking a more in-depth look at vehicle registration and sales data over the last five years gives a clue as to which technologically advanced models might be making a more frequent appearance in your workshop in the near future.

Workshops should be considering how prepared they are for this influx of more technologically advanced vehicles. A technical information sharing regime as recommended by the ACCC will clearly go a long way to levelling the playing field, and helping independent workshops manage the challenges of servicing more technologically advanced vehicles. This will not however address the skills needs of the market place, and the investment required for specialist tools and diagnostic equipment.

Given the progress we’ve seen in 2017 in areas like electrification, automation and telemetry, our sense is that the next 10-15 years in automotive car tech will make the last 15 look like just a warm-up. Future proofing your business against global automotive innovation is therefore vital for long term success.

Republished with permission. See original post: 

This column was prepared for AAA Magazine by ACA Research, our partners in the AAAA Aftermarket Dashboard, which is delivered to your inbox each quarter.

For more information, contact Ben Selwyn

Topics: Automotive Research automotive trends