The International Automotive Technicians’ Network (iATN) recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, evolving from a small, 50-member e-mail-based communication service into the world’s largest online community of automotive technicians, repair shop owners and other allied service professionals with more than 72,000 active members representing 158 countries.
iATN started in 1995, when Internet usage was in its infancy with less than 16 million users. At the time, only a handful of technicians could access iATN from their repair shops on connections that took several minutes just to download a few pages of text. Today, the Internet has more than 1.9 billion users and most iATN members have high speed Internet access at both work and home. Not only can iATN members share technical documents in real-time with their peers, they are also able to quickly share images, video and other data throughout the members-only area.
The industry has changed a lot over the last 15 years with vehicles becoming more complex to diagnose and repair, largely due to increasingly advanced powertrain and vehicle control systems. iATN features and resources have been continuously improved over this time – both for free members and paid sponsors – providing support for increasingly complex diagnostic strategies, data analysis and repair procedures that today’s professionals face on a regular basis.
“I can’t see how anyone who works outside of a dealership environment can hope to stay current on technologies, and more importantly repair techniques, without being iATN sponsors,” said Allen Stephenson, technician/shop foreman, Christian Brothers Automotive, Houston, Texas.
“It’s amazing to look back 15 years ago and to realize the incredible growth iATN has experienced in both membership and capabilities,” said Brent Black, iATN founder. “While the possibilities for the future are endless, one thing is certain, iATN will always be evolving and we look forward to what the next 15 years will bring.”
The iATN Mission of Excellence: To promote the continued growth, success and image of the professional automotive technician by providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of education, professionalism and integrity. For additional information about iATN or to join, visit www.iatn.net.