Auto Service World
News   October 27, 2023   by Adam Malik

How AI can help the aftermarket

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It has been said that data is the new oil — which is fitting when talking about it in the context of vehicles as both are key components of the automotive industry today.

A discussion at a recent conference looked at how artificial intelligence can help the automotive sector. AI has been all the rage in recent times, specifically generative AI. Does it have a place under the hood of vehicles on roads today?

Yes, it does, experts agreed. Their insights pointed to it being potentially more beneficial to the automotive aftermarket as that data can relay repair and maintenance needs to the vehicle owner.

Given how much data a modern vehicle generates from cameras and data systems every day — consulting firm McKinskey pegs the number at 25 GB of data an hour — it’s impossible to upload and store that data without a massive price tag attached.

“Which means that you now need intelligence at the edge to not only be able to extract just the necessary insights but to act on it,” explained Aarjav Trivedi, founder and CEO at Ridecell during the panel discussion, How to Adjust for the Future of Mobility at the tech-focused Collision Conference.

It’s not that data is “the panacea” for all things but finding the right information in that data. And that could be key to the automotive aftermarket. One could look at the data and determine, “Does this vehicle need service right now? And if it does, is the mechanic available right now? In what location? is the part available? If we need to charge, is a charger available and where should we charge?” Trivedi said.

That means that data can finally be used in a more beneficial way. But technology is the key to unlocking it so that profitability can be found in the data and make it a sustainable endeavour, he added.

And there are many areas that can benefit from having more data. Panellist Chris Snyder, co-chief operating officer at Via, noted that mobility is being understood better thanks to more data points. Before, public transit data was only gathered as people moved their feet through turnstiles. Now, with apps on their phones, how people want to travel is being communicated much more loudly.

It doesn’t just take that data “and turn it into ‘Oh, OK, we could actually build a better network now that we understand what people actually want to do,’ but then there’s sorts of data sources … that allow you to plan based not just on what trips people might want to do, but where are there are socio-economic gaps and challenges,” Snyder said. “It gets really rich and really complicated.”

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