What will happen to car repairs in the future?

We should be wondering about those who service and maintain our cars

An often overlooked dynamic in our enthusiasm to embrace new car technology is the impact it will have on current careers associated with cars. Primarily, we should be wondering about those who service and maintain our cars.

In Lyon, we can have some notion of what this looks like. As the Guardian reports:

“The Vélo’v scheme is being extended, car clubs that use electric vehicles are being encouraged, and what Vesco calls a ‘collaborative platform’ has been built to encourage ride-sharing by matching drivers with people seeking lifts. There is, he says, no longer any need for residents of Lyon to own a car.”

In this model, the point isn’t the latest technology but a new kind of focus for transportation: fewer cars and non-car transportation. Naturally this could have a severe impact on mechanics, panelbeaters, and others who depend on a car being used until it requires maintenance.

But we could also ask about future technology. As cars begin obtaining and installing with the latest technology, as well the move toward self-driving cars, we have to wonder about the kinds of skills required to maintain our future vehicle.

Though the change to self-driving cars could take decades, as Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk predicts, it is inevitable.

“For now, Musk said, a computer can control a car with relative ease at 5 miles per hour to 10 mph, since a vehicle can be stopped within the range of ultrasonic sensors. Above 50 mph on the highway is also fairly simple, since a freeway road isn’t all that complicated. However, between 10 mph and 50 mph, things are much tougher, with cars needing to deal with urban environments, starting and stopping, pedestrians and other objects, he said.”

Even this description indicates the existence and inclusion of advanced technology in vehickes. This is technology that didn’t exist a few years ago, let alone decades ago – when people who run car repair shops were training or setting up to have the businesses they have today.

Progress is inevitable. How that will change society, or our roads, is yet to be seen – but we can’t prevent it happening. It will therefore begin making careers either redundant or in need of alteration. Self-driving cars doesn’t have to mean closing shop, only, for example, getting more training. This could prove difficult, but, perhaps, it is necessary.