The NMA Foundation presents The Car of the Future weekly feature:
This month, Britain’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) stated that the U.K government guidelines to reduce connected car hacking does not go far enough. One of the key factors IMI has concerns with is that there are no statements about who works on the car of the future. IMI believes that vehicle technicians should be qualified, regulated to carry out repairs and adhere to a professional standard so that the quality of service is not compromised.
Loughborough University Professor Jim Saker stated that vehicle technicians have access to all the car operating systems and data-communication portals, but as of yet, there is no registration of technicians, no security checks and no tests of competence.
As we all know, mechanical incompetency not only makes vehicle owners angry but it makes owners unsafe especially when complex internal communication systems and software is in play.
As the U.S. begins to set minimum standards for regulating connected and autonomous vehicles, professional standards should be included for vehicle mechanic technicians. These standards should also extend to those mechanic technicians who work on our cars in the cloud from afar.
Just like everything else churning in the auto business—the business of fixing cars has already changed from the stereotypical grease monkey to a mechanic technician working via laptop or tablet. About a year ago, the Atlantic Magazine ran an interview with Kansas City, MO auto technician Joe Sevart called A Mechanic Faces the Age of the Self-Driving Car. Sevart says he now has to spend thousands of dollars yearly on training updates for his staff and he is worried about the time when all cars will only need to receive a service update which would knock out the need for his “technicians.”
JP Morgan sent out an analysis this week stating that they feel that electric vehicles (EVs) would take 35 percent of the global industry by 2025 and 48 percent by 2030. The thrust of the report was showing who would lose from this trend due to the lower maintenance costs for consumers.
“EVs have 20 moving parts compared to as many as 2,000 in an internal combustion engine (ICE), dramatically reducing service costs and increasing longevity of the vehicle.” The analysts added that the estimated running costs for an EV could be around 10 percent of an ICE.
As vehicles evolve, they seem to become a much simpler machine with less moving parts and less reason to take the vehicle to a mechanic technician shop.
Which standards will our mechanic technicians need and will they have to be certified for every part of the vehicle or will he or she be allowed to specialize?
And what about those mechanic technicians fixing our car’s software from afar via the cloud? How will they be regulated and how will we know that they are regulated to fix the particular problem we have at the time?
What protections will consumers have with regards to auto privacy and safety? How can we trust mechanic technicians to keep our private information private and our vehicles safe from tampering?
Should consumers allow car/personal safety and privacy to be compromised for convenience?
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If you are interested in learning more about the Car of the Future check out the following NMA resources:
NMA Driving News Feed—Over 50 Car of the Future stories are placed each month in the NMA Driving News—the go-to source for all your driving news information from around the country.
NMA’s Flipboard Magazine called Car of the Future—Over 50 stories are placed each month in this magazine devoted to the Car of the Future. Stories featured include future car politics, industry news and thought pieces.
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