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By Mike Tanner, Director, Vehicle Communications, Auto Care Association
The rate of technological expansion can be hard to wrap your head around – a number of attempts to quantify this trend simply return charts with steep inclines resembling slopes more extreme than Mount Everest. One thing is for certain – the growth is exponential and there is no sign of it slowing. As more and more sensors are added to vehicles, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is deployed and integrated, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) production ramps up and Software-Defined Vehicles (SDV) become a reality.
Auto Care Association’s emerging technology team will focus on the efforts of the Auto Care Association Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC) to effect positive change in the automotive aftermarket at AAPEX 2022 by getting out in front of the challenges and collectively facing them head-on. As access to vehicle data is still a top priority of the industry, it will be a significant focus at several of our tradeshow presences. In addition to data access, the ETC has identified other technology issues affecting the automotive aftermarket, such as ADAS calibration, access to vehicle data identifying which sensors are installed in a particular vehicle, and standardized electric vehicle battery disconnect equipment and procedures. At AAPEX 2022, we’ll discuss these challenges as well as the opportunities they provide for our industry and how you can become involved through one of our workstreams.
Access to Vehicle Data
As determined by our surveys, access to vehicle data is still a primary concern within the industry. Several vehicle manufacturers have limited or wholly barred access to their vehicle data by aftermarket professionals. Not only access by way of telematics (or wirelessly generated data), but also direct access by a tool connected to the OBD II port. The Auto Care Association sponsored standards that, when implemented, provide safe, secure, standardized access to vehicle data (you may know these as SVI, or the Secure Vehicle Interface). These standards are currently used in vehicle-to-vehicle communications by the OEMs and will be similarly used for securing the EV charging infrastructure. There is no reason why these same standards cannot be utilized to secure access to diagnostic vehicle data.These standards provide the ability to certify, register and authenticate users. Which begs the question: are dealer technicians more secure than aftermarket technicians? We know the answer to that question is simply, no. By using the security standards sponsored by Auto Care Association, all vehicle data access is more secure.
Over the last four years, the Auto Care Association has demonstrated implementations of these standards, including two live demos at AAPEX in 2019 and 2021. This year, we plan to show a fully integrated demonstration that allows customers to control access to their vehicle data and choose whom they want to repair their vehicles in Joe’s Garage. We will also demonstrate that the aftermarket can access the authorized vehicle data using existing tools. This demonstration will utilize Auto Care Association member implementations to show the real-world applications and the positive impact a standardized secure architecture can have on the entire transportation ecosystem.
ADAS calibration is both an opportunity and a challenge for the aftermarket. Over the last two years, our members have worked with standards bodies to establish ADAS calibration standards. These standards will help to reduce the need to utilize multiple tools, procedures and test equipment for different vehicle manufacturers. This lack of standardization has caused increases in costs for test equipment and even the need to outsource calibration work to third parties. At the same time, standardization would reduce costs, improve efficiency and possibly improve safety. This will also create a business opportunity for the aftermarket that spans ICE, BEV and SDVs.
Vehicle Sensor Data
The ETC has also identified the lack of access to vehicle build data that would allow the aftermarket to ascertain which sensors are installed on vehicles that enter their shops. Without this data, the aftermarket is at a disadvantage since the dealers do have access. This results in extra time and effort by the aftermarket shops and could additionally pose safety issues. The ETC is investigating ways to identify this data and reduce the time wasted researching or dismantling panels to verify that sensors are installed.
EV Battery Disconnect Standards
As it has been with many new technology introductions in the automotive industry, the lack of concern for post-warranty work has not been a requirement for the manufacturers. This results in non-standardized implementations across all manufacturers. This was the case for ADAS calibration and is becoming the case for EV battery disconnects. The ETC is researching opportunities to work through the standards bodies to standardize EV battery disconnect switches and procedures. Disconnecting EV batteries can be dangerous, and variations in the equipment and procedures can make it even more hazardous for aftermarket technicians. Even after the batteries are disconnected, there is always a risk that another technician could reconnect the batteries without the knowledge of other technicians.
Collaborate with the Emerging Technologies Committee
The Auto Care Association Emerging Technologies Committee is working to ensure that the aftermarket has a voice in developing and implementing emerging technologies. Our goal is to be proactive, as in the case of electric batteries, rather than reactive, as in the case of ADAS calibration. The ETC identifies and assesses emerging technologies, prioritizes them, and then leverages our members’ collective talents and resources to address them. This year’s ETC booth will highlight our current objectives and the work to adapt and succeed. To learn more about the committee and how you can collaborate and contribute to industry-wide solution, we invite you to stop by and chat with our experts in the Level 2 lobby of the Venetian Expo.
AAPEX 2022 is the premier event to learn about the top vehicle technologies that impact your business. I hope to see you there!
Graph Image Source: Zippia
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