Before today, I had never seen a press release distributed by an independent auto repair shop. Goes to show that there’s a first time for everything.
The press release touts a trade column by New Jersey repair shop owner Jason Bigelow:
Today, the vehicles entering shops for maintenance or repairs sit parked 95 percent of the time. Tomorrow, fleets of driverless cars will spend nearly all their time on the road — with an increase in wear and tear and a proportionate need for maintenance and repair.
Bigelow contends self-driving cars will be a boon for the repair shop industry.
From a mechanical and electrical perspective, autonomous vehicles are not much different from the vehicles technicians already service on a daily basis. The autonomous features are just that — “features” designed to replace drivers, not cars. The goal is to add operational awareness and intelligence without replacing any of the components that make human-controlled cars operate.
That makes sense as far as it goes, but I wonder how the fleet economics will affect independent repair shops. Will Uber have its own repair shops, or will it outsource to independents?