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Stay Informed When it Comes to Telematics

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Feb. 17, 2020—With the more prominent role that telematics plays in the automotive repair world. Derek Kaufman predicts shops will need to keep current with diagnostic and software tools in the shop. 

Today, connectivity is in the shop. Cars are experiencing over-the-air software updates and a high-level of shop work is going to be electronics-related. 

And, Kaufman, Auto Care Association writer of Telematics Trendline and managing partner at Schwartz Advisors LLC, says shop operators need to be informing their customers about the their car and the use of its data.

For instance, he recommends shop operators themselves stay up-to-date on the right laws so that they can then properly inform customers.

Shop operators may be aware of the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act which guarantees every car owner's right to have their car serviced at a repair shop of their choice.

Recently, in October 2019, Massachusetts lawmakers held a hearing on the state's proposed Digital Right to Repair act. According to a Ratchet+Wrench report, this act would require electronics manufacturers to make diagnostic, service, repair guides available to the public, while also prohibiting manufacturers to block repairs on a software or firmware level.

Back in 2012, Massachusetts passed the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right-to-Repair Act, or Right-to-Repair, requiring automobile manufacturers to provide the same information to independent repair shops as they do for dealerships. Because of growing technology, the Massachusetts Right-to-Repair coalition is still fighting for the same rights in terms of telematics and privacy in newly manufactured cars.

Not only do shop operators need to keep up-to-date with the Digital Right to Repair, another area they need to monitor is the secure vehicle interface and any laws surrounding the design. The interface provides a standardized, secure design for vehicle data to be shared with third parties at the owner’s discretion, according to the Auto Care Association. It enables a smart global infrastructure where vehicles can “talk” to their surroundings (e.g., traffic lights, emergency vehicles, other vehicles, etc.) in order to adapt to an evolving driving environment, which results in safe and more efficient roads.

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