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Technology Newsmaker Q&A Brian Daugherty

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 07:00
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In 2016, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) named Brian Daugherty its new chief technology officer. Daugherty previously served with vehicle-to-vehicle and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) systems specialist Visteon and at Ford. He spoke to Aftermarket Business World about the organization’s priorities for the coming year.

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What are your priorities as CTO this year?

In some ways it’s a continuation of what we’ve already been working on. On the aftermarket side, it’s telematics and ensuring we have continued vehicle data access.

That ties in with efforts going on in cybersecurity, so we’re involved in efforts on OBD-II security and security for over-the-air updates. That ties into vehicle data access issues, and ensuring that aftermarket suppliers as well as repair shops have access to diagnostic trouble codes and other things that are needed to make replacement parts and to repair vehicles.

We’re also working on automated and ADAS vehicle technology, as well as fuel economy. The last big area is going to be vehicle-to-vehicle communications based on dedicated short range communication (DSRC).

What were the most significant technology developments last year from MEMA’s perspective?

In general, in terms of what I think will affect all our members across all divisions, is the emphasis on cybersecurity. As we move toward more connected vehicles from a telematics standpoint, cybersecurity has really become one of the leading issues. Dongles have become very prevalent. Most of them have WiFi and cellular access directly from the dongle, and that’s opening up an attack surface that was never even considered when those vehicles were designed.

I would say automated vehicle technology is the one that has been in the headlines the most, in terms of aggressive deployments on the part of the players in the industry and the OEMs.

There’s still some uncertainty at the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relative to agency priorities and the status of some initiatives that were begun during the previous administration. Do you have any expectations about what might happen with vehicle-to-vehicle technology regulations or a potential mandate?

We’ve been actively involved in providing comments on that notice of proposed rulemaking from NHTSA.

No one really knows about changes in priorities, but I think the industry is very supportive of vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications. There’s a lot of support from the manufacturers to move ahead. For an administration looking at this, the industry is moving this way, safety advocates want to move this way, and I would think that things are going to continue in that direction.

Are there any emerging technologies that are not getting much attention in the aftermarket right now, but that you think will be important to the industry in a few years?

I don’t think the aftermarket really appreciates the potential market size yet of V2V communications.

V2V is really a community technology, in that the more vehicles that are equipped with it, the more value there is. There will be a big push to have this on new vehicles in 2021 or so, and to have more aftermarket systems installed. That could be a huge business potentially, just like aftermarket parts are now in terms of radios and different things.

You could see insurance companies or state departments of transportation incentivizing or providing credits for V2V in the future. On the OE side, that could be a $4 billion or $5 billion market in terms of just OEM parts, but you’re talking about 16 million or 17 million vehicles.

On the aftermarket side, it could be much larger than that theoretically because installation costs will be significantly higher and there are many more millions of vehicles that could be affected.

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