TMCnet Feature
October 16, 2020

Jonathan Vakassian Discusses How Technology has Impacted Mechanics



Technology is constantly evolving, resulting in changes to industries worldwide. While no industry goes untouched by technological advancements, some industries adapt to and embrace these changes better than others. The automotive industry is one in which advancements are welcomed with open arms. In fact, in recent years, technology has completely transformed the way vehicles are manufactured, powered, operated, and maintained.



As an experienced entrepreneur focused in the automotive industry, Jonathan Vakassian is all too familiar with the changes to mechanics brought about by new technologies. Starting out as a mechanic and tow driver decades ago, Jonathan now owns an automotive sales, mechanic, and towing business in Cornwall, Connecticut. This extensive experience has given him a first-hand look at how the automotive industry has adapted to changes in technology. He reflects on those changes and the impact they’ve had.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing of vehicles has evolved significantly in the past century. Robotics and machinery now replace hands-on production in many cases. In addition to the changes in how vehicles are assembled, manufacturers have also incorporated new technology in order to produce automobiles that are safer and more energy efficient.

Power

Gas-powered vehicles have traditionally been commonplace. However, changes in technology have brought about new sources of power for automobiles. Now, fully electric, hybrid, and solar-powered cars are making a name for themselves among consumers. Jonathan Vakassian notes that, as traditional internal combustion and gas-fed engines become a thing of the past, mechanics will have to adapt and upgrade their knowledge to service these new vehicles.

Operation

Due to new camera and sensor technology, vehicle operation has come a long way. Now, vehicles incorporate a number of new technologies, including the ability to self-park, course correct, brake autonomously (with Autonomous Emergency Braking systems), and even self-drive! Jonathan Vakassian suggests that, while self-driving vehicles still have a way to come, advancements in autonomous technologies suggest that that self-driving vehicles will be standard in the future.

Advancements in camera technology have also allowed for more complex assistance tools. For example, cameras installed in various parts of a vehicle (side mirrors, dashboards, lights, doors, etc.) allow drivers to see their surroundings on a central computer screen to help with parking, backing up, and even lane changes.

Vehicle operation has also evolved with the incorporation of computer systems. These systems have expanded interaction capabilities, allowing drivers to interact with their vehicle in new ways. Onboard computer systems allow drivers to control GPS, cruise control, exhaust emissions, engine temperature, and vehicle temperature at the touch of a button. More advanced models now incorporate voice controls and even gesture controls as a way of interacting.

With the help of technology, drivers today can also run onboard diagnostics in an attempt to identify problems with their vehicles. As Jonathan Vakassian notes, this impacts mechanics in many ways. First, customers become more informed. While this is beneficial for many reasons, there are also negative impacts. In particular, at-home DIY mechanics may find themselves causing more harm than good when attempting to address problems identified by their vehicle’s computer system.

Jonathan Vakassian on Maintenance

With changes to how vehicles run and the internal computer systems that are now onboard, maintenance needs have changed dramatically. In addition to the mechanics of a vehicle, automotive service providers must now also be familiar with computer systems and software. Knowledge of vehicles that run on other fuel types, such as solar or battery power, is also necessary. Jonathan Vakassian advises mechanics to stay on top of these new technologies and vehicle types in order to remain competitive in the automotive industry. When vehicles that run on alternative power sources begin to replace traditional gas-powered engines, mechanics will need to be familiar with the specifics of these new systems. Now is the time to get on top of these changes so you aren’t left behind!



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