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Driverless car mechanics

Detecting, testing and diagnosing of faults in cars could become the role of AI in the near future.

What are mechanics?

According to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) mechanics repair, maintain and test motor vehicles and other internal combustion engines and related mechanical components.

The current tasks of a mechanic include:

How is digital innovation impacting this work?

According to the Australia and New Zealand Driverless vehicle initiative (ADVI) while dismantling, removal and replacement of engine parts will continue to depend on human labour albeit with less workers, any detecting, testing and diagnosing of faults will depend increasingly on data driven artificial intelligence (AI). Similarly, routine servicing such as oil and lubricant changes, engine tuning and pollution regulation compliance will be fused with AI.

The future is already here

In a world first, a smart transit hub was launched in Glenelg, South Australia in January 2019. For six months, the transit hub will communicate with a driverless shuttle bus in order to shuttle passengers around Glenelg.

The Victorian government has also granted an Automated Driving System (ADS) permit to a company to begin testing driverless cars on Victorian country roads. As these trends continue, new digital skills will be required of mechanics.

Could this be a reality in 2030?

A roadworthiness certificate used to be only paper based but now drivers in some Australian states have the option to receive the certificate via email instead. Within 10 years, drivers might not need to interact with a mechanic in order to obtain a certificate — it could just be a matter of a drive through similar to a car wash. You would be able to drive your car into a computerised platform that will check all necessary roadworthiness criteria before either issuing the certificate via email or issuing a list of items to repair before receiving the certificate. If this eventuates, current jobs will be lost but many new jobs will be created. People will be required to check the algorithms of those cyber-physical systems and others will be required to maintain those machines.