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).
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) .
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.