Auto Service World
News   February 28, 2024   by Adam Malik

Will AI replace aftermarket professionals?


Image credit: Depositphotos.com

With the rise of artificial intelligence, industries are wondering how much longer until people are replaced by computers, including the automotive aftermarket.

But at the end of the day, vehicle repairs will almost always have to be completed by a human being, recent conference attendees heard from a panel of experts at the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Aftermarket Technology Conference.

“Probably the biggest concern is, is it going to replace some people? And the argument there is that you still need a repairman at the end of that line,” said Scott Brown, industry ambassador with Diagnostic Network. “You need someone to do that repair.”

That still means some jobs further up the line can be replaced by AI, observed David Brondstetter, CEO of SureCritic, which provides a review platform for the auto car sector.

“It’s just a matter of when,” he said during the session, ChatGPT & AI Applications for the Aftermarket. “It really depends on what you do.”

Brondstetter, however, went on to explain that AI will be an added tool for many shops and stores. Think of it as complementary to business intelligence, he said. Business intelligence takes what’s already happened and AI adds a layer on that to predict what will happen in the future.

Take an O2 sensor that is coming to a certain usage point and will likely need replacement, he used as an example. AI could predict when the part will need to be replaced, see if the part is available — and if not, find out when and have it ordered — have it ready, schedule the appointment and contact the customer to get the work done.

“So you can see the impact that AI, especially in cars, can have on parts ordering,” Brondstetter said. “The problem with parts ordering right now is we rely on these things to happen — we’re assuming the customer’s going to come in [when they have an issue].”


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