We’re living in the golden era of technology. It takes over our lives – Apple’s latest devices, advanced video games, and it doesn’t stop there. The auto industry is seeing technologically savvy repair techniques come into play as well. So long traditional repair, hello future fixes!
At least sometime soon, that is. Many people drive older-model cars, and will continue to do so for decades. There will always be a small mechanic that will work on those types of cars, but to take auto service from greasy to geeky the rest of the industry will need to catch up.
Here’s a quick list of cool repair technologies that we may see in the shop soon.
Wireless Data Transmission
Take a look at some of the 2016 and 2017 models of pretty much any make of car. You’re bound to find some with WiFi availability. That being said, the WiFi isn’t just for tweeting on the go and streaming from the backseat. Car manufacturers are implementing software updates over the car’s WiFi to correct running problems, improve fuel mileage, among other concerns. The updates are just like the ones you perform on your smartphone or computer, and can do anything from give you cool new features to possibly save a life.
With every new and shiny piece of technology comes a hefty price tag. Newer cars are being built with complicated and detailed computerized mechanisms that overall change how the entire car can be repaired, meaning more money to be coughed up. Once piece of savvy equipment that can be installed is augmented reality (AR for short), which would allow technicians working on a vehicle to strap on Google Glass glasses. These expensive glasses would give the techs visual information of the car computer they’re looking at and help them through the repair process. Recently, Volkswagen tried out the idea of AR on their forthcoming VW XL1 with a technology called MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance). This can save the tech lots of time, which would pass savings on to the consumer down the road. Those same consumers probably hope this can be available for projects of their own!
Although this technology isn’t exactly brand new by any means, the way it can be utilized in the automotive industry is innovative. There’s lots of hypothetical instances to be had, but mainly 3D printers can come in handy in repair shops when they don’t have access to a specific tool or part and can print one up in minutes, at a fraction of the cost. It’s been a tough type of printer to sell to your average auto repair shop, beings how much advanced engineering and coding it requires printing pieces. Nonetheless, the technology of 3D printing has made serious strides in the last 5-10 years, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Maybe we’ll be seeing recreations of classic cars and even brand new cars created from a 3D printer soon!