Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers fit, install, maintain, service and repair engines and the mechanical and related equipment of
passenger cars, delivery trucks, motorcycles and other motor vehicles (ILO, 2018).

RISK PROBABILITY BASED ON THE SEMINAL FREY AND OSBORNE STUDY

PROFESSIONAL GROUP CHARACTERISTICS AND SIMILAR OCCUPATIONS

Machinery mechanics and repairers fit, install, maintain and repair engines, vehicles, agricultural or industrial machinery and similar mechanical equipment (ILO, 2018).

Background Information

The introduction of major hardware and software components in car design in order to benefit of the lower weight (steering, braking, cornering, off road, petrol efficiency etc.) and added capabilities (automated braking, self-driving etc.) (USA Today, 2016) , has resulted in a level of complexity rivalling that of airplanes for luxury cars.  This fact would prove especially hard for small independent shops rather than dealerships as the shift from a wrench to a computer may be impossible for classically trained mechanics with limited access to training programs. An added fact to this conundrum, is that big car companies are reluctant to give  access to the data collected by the car’s sensors (On-board Diagnostics), claiming that they can’t provide unlimited access to their intellectual property for security, data protection, corporate theft and other reasons (QUARTZ, 2017). For some of the technological companies engaging in the automated car development, like Google and Tesla, this has turned into a major issue with independent mechanics, especially exacerbated by the fact that they can update remotely the software and address problems via the internet, taking advantage of the IoT (Gizmodo, 2015). 

The move into full electric cars is also a cause for alert. Unlike traditional automobiles that have around 2000 moving parts, with all the wear and tear that this entails, the engine oil etc., new cars like hybrids and fully electric cars usually only contain around 20 moving parts, thus maintaining just a small portion of the traditional mechanic’s bread and butter (like suspension and brakes) and requiring retraining for the software and hardware aspects, electric motors, and batteries (Washington Post, 2017) .

CASE EXAMPLES

Tesla, one of the leading electric companies globally, suggests in its website that maintenance performed once yearly to check for very basic tasks like tire alignments, software updates, pointing out that even break pad replacements are rare as the breaking regenerative technology charges the battery instead of wearing the brakes, thus minimizing the need for regular visits to the mechanics. It also states that the particularities of the car, from batteries to tires, require visit on certified dealers.

https://www.tesla.com/Support/maintenance-plans-ms-mx

Sierra Wireless provides solutions of internet connectivity in cars to provide continuous machine-to-machine car information, and taking advantage of mass data to provide analytics to auto manufacturers in real time in terms of ‘…in-vehicle internet-based services, including remote vehicle access, roadside assistance, diagnostics and maintenance…’ working with major manufacturers such Volkswagen (Volkswagen prefers Sierra Wireless to enable next-generation connected vehicles with 4G LTE embedded modules, 2017) and Peugeot Citroen (Sierra Wireless, n.d.). These interactions are between the car, driver and manufacturers-dealerships.

https://www.sierrawireless.com/applications/automotive-and-transport/automotive/

https://www.sierrawireless.com/company/newsroom/pressreleases/2017/02/02-09-2017_volkswagen_prefers_sierra_wireless_to_enable_next_gen_connected_vehicles/

IBM’s multifaceted AI platform provides an integrated car management system which collectes sensor and environmental data, analyzes and communicates them with the driver and the car manufacturer, thus possibly allowing for diagnosing possible problems with the car and schedule maintenance thus streamlining and preventing breakdowns (risk prevension) something that is also promoted by car insurance companies in order to minimize excessive car fixing  costs (IBM, n.d.)

https://www.ibm.com/internet-of-things/industries/iot-automotive

Categories: Skill Level 2