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Insight: The Decade-Long Self-Driving Honeymoon is Over. What’s Next?

A decade of breathless self-driving hype and C-suite predictions came to a quiet, ignominious end recently when the industry failed to deliver on its promise of mass-market commercial deployment. And, despite having already spent tens of billions on autonomous systems, the industry enters this new year knowing that additional massive investment will be required to reach true automotive autonomy. At last, reality has sunk in: Driverless cars are nowhere near ready for the open road.

Aftermarket Auto Parts Supply Chain: No Time to Spare

Americans’ cars are going gray right alongside their drivers. Along with an aging population, the average age of the cars on the road in the United States has inched up to 11.8 years. Moreover, the number of vehicles between six and 11 years old will jump 27% between 2018 and 2023. On the other hand, E-commerce is upending sales and delivery channels, while other advances in technology are changing the makeup of vehicles themselves. The businesses that succeed will learn how to leverage these changes to both retain and capture market share and reduce costs.

Technology Placing New Demands on Technicians’ Time: Research

The rapid pace of changing technology has put automotive technicians in a time crunch – the core challenge is simply to keep up with the system changes and diagnostic procedures. The emphasis on keeping up with diagnostic technology was especially noted by larger shops. Only 18.0% of shops with one to three bays prioritized that concern, compared to 37.1% of shops with four to seven bays and 38.3% of shops with eight or more bays.

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