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Connected Cars and the Future of Diagnostic Tools in Car Repair

Jul 19, 2023
Jainam Shah

Connected cars and diagnostics tools are shaping the future of car repairs in big leaps. But, what exactly are “connected cars” and why are they a big deal?

Connected Cars’ Impact

Connected cars are vehicles that have access to the internet through mobile data networks. Why do vehicles need internet? Well, vehicles that have access to the internet can use in-built GPS tools, offer entertainment systems, and improve safety for pedestrians and drivers. Alongside the power of connected cars and diagnostic tools, car repairs can be improved greatly.

The Right to Repair Act

An initiative to allow consumers and independent repair shops access to vehicle repair information. Repair information can include manuals, guides, diagnostic tools, and access to firmware and software; which were previously gate-keep by original equipment manufacturers. This initiative expands the potential of the power of connected cars and diagnostic tools for car repairs.

Connected Cars’ Uses in Car Repair

Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates

With the vehicle's ability to access the internet, it can send and receive data. This allows manufacturers to send software updates to cars without the need for the car to come to the dealership. These software updates may be a quality of life (QoL) improvement or an update that addresses safety concerns within the software. 

Real-Time Data

Connected cars collect data about the vehicle that can be relayed to car owners, technicians, and car manufacturers. This data includes engine performance, fuel consumption and efficiency, mileage, and average tire pressure. This can be useful for having an idea of what may be an issue during a repair. 

Remote Diagnostics

Connected vehicles can send data, which allows service centers, car owners, and manufacturers can access data remotely. This is efficient and accurate for technicians while saving time for car owners as there is no physical inspection needed.

Predictive Maintenance

As the presence of artificial intelligence grows, with the addition of connected vehicles, predictive diagnostics can predict potential problems in the vehicle. This allows car owners to fix it up before it can be a problem, leading to a higher expected vehicle life.

Diagnostic Tools’ Impact

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

Big names such as Apple and Meta are getting into augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which can play a big role in the car service industry. Having on-hand tools such as repair manuals, troubleshooting guides, and instructions through AR and VR speeds up the time it takes to repair cars and get them back to their long-awaited owners. These tools also minimize the errors of maintenance and provide AI experience to all technicians. 

Analysis Tools

Artificial intelligence damage analysis tools have improved with competition getting bigger, leading to these tools getting better and better. These tools offer car owners easy ways to send damage reports and get estimates within a couple of seconds. By just taking a couple of photos and vehicles of your car damage, damage tools use computer vision to detect where and how deep the damage is. Then, using insurance services, offer you a “rough” estimate. These reports can be sent to insurance agencies and service shops. The flexibility and speed that these tools offer prove useful to all.

On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD II)

OBD II is a port for mechanics to retrieve various information about the vehicle such as error codes, health, and faulty parts of the car. This helps speed up any issues that are within the car’s software as mechanics do not have to search for this information. 

The Future of Car Repair

The power of connected cars and diagnostic tools, alongside The Right to Repair Act, will impact the future of car repair tremendously. With new tools becoming accessible to repair shops, we can see a change in our very near future. The speed and accessibility that connected cars offer with the proper diagnostic tools will have car owners happy that they can expect faster, effective car repairs without the hassle of spending time away from their life. 

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