With robot arms, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality helping to steer the auto industry into the future, are auto mechanics going to be obsolete?
Whether we like it or not, the robots are here to stay. There’s no stopping them. While this may sound morbid and futuristic and damn near frightening, robots and other hyper-futuristic technologies have seamlessly (to a certain degree) slipped into the mainstream of the world of automobiles. But what’s the long-term effects of having robots or AI or AR becoming more common? And how will it affect everyone and everything, from how we drive to how we get help, like from auto mechanics?
You Can’t Stop What’s Coming
The Los Angeles Times pointed out that with the advent/onslaught of autonomous vehicles there could be around 5 million nationwide jobs at stake. With companies like UPS putting in orders for self-driving Tesla big rigs and Amazon getting in the trucking game with its own autonomous engines, even the shipping industry is shifting in front of our eyes. And while we can cast a wide net over the entire automotive industry, we should be focusing on the everyday roles in the industry like auto mechanics.
Everybody Stay Calm
Even though we may be moving toward an aggressively expanded future of self-driving technology, cars will still need to be worked on. And while robots are replacing workers in factories, the corner garage can probably keep its lights on.
Think about it, while robots and augmented reality may help to create vehicles and drive them, will they help to fix them if there’s a flat? Or when someone needs to go in for a tune up or oil change? Yes, yes, don’t count out technology; like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, it will find a way. But auto mechanics should feel a little safer in their industry. While traditional car work may have changed, at this point there seems to be a place at the table for auto mechanics for a while.
Cars of Tomorrowland
Already we are seeing some modern updates to the traditional auto mechanic role. Software, which has become more agile and streamlined and accessible, has increasingly upped its stock as replacing diagnostic mechanics with the ability to reset error codes in vehicles without having to go back because something was missed due to human omission.
This all isn’t counting out that someday in the future there may be an auto mechanic shop where there are no humans at all. You make an appointment online without talking to anyone, you drive your car (or, it drives you, more like it) to the shop, robot arms come up from the floor or from the ceiling or walls in a designated bay, and it’s fixed. 99% chance this is going to happen, but until then, let’s keep the grease flowing.