Industry pundits from IT, Telecoms and car makers all agree, the mass market connected car is going to be a common sight very soon. There are a number of key drivers, firstly consumers are more demanding & expect continuous connectivity, secondly safety legislation (2015) requires cars to auto respond to breakdown and crash situations and finally car manufacturers want to leverage technology to enhance brand awareness, loyalty and customer service.
However there are fundamental dilemmas to face and more unanswered questions.
Will cars have web based software (open but unsecure) or more native operating systems (proprietary with long lead times)?
How much influence will telecoms providers have?
Will car makers limit what and how many APPS a customer can load?
Mechanics will need more than just a large tool cabinet, they will need to be far more tech savy, especially if you work at an independent garage. Even budget cars now have keyless entry, auto park, adaptive braking and cruise control, infotainment and a whole host of auto functions from lights to wipers. Research shows approx. 80% of garages are currently struggling to recruit suitably qualified mechnaics, even MOT testers as of now have to sit retraining and pass exams every year.
The big question is who will provide the training, tech data manuals, diagnostic equipment?
For these reasons imechanic advocates collaboration as the way forward for all mechanics.