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Technology Newsmaker Q&A Kaleb Silver

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 09:00
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Kaleb Silver is senior product manager at Hunter Engineering. He spoke to Aftermarket Business World about the impact of new vehicle technologies on product development.

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How are telematics and other new technologies affecting product development in the aftermarket?

We really see an impact on the security side of everything, and the OEs are putting a lot of effort into protecting the vehicles from hacking. There are also security concerns around different driver input systems. That could reduce access for the aftermarket to that data and to those types of systems.

Long-term, there will probably be a day when we move away from the OBD-II port and to more of a wireless connection to the vehicle through a security algorithm of some sort. Those are things that are on our radar, but not necessarily imminent. We’ll see what’s defined out there and the aftermarket will have to react as technology changes.

Probably a more important part of this right now is the lack of standardization for some of the types of resets the OEs require when you change a component or repair a vehicle. Others have expensive fixturing or expensive tooling required to complete a reset. Each one has their own fixtures. For the aftermarket shop that wants to service these vehicles, they will need a larger tool storage area than they’ve ever needed. A large investment will be required unless we see some sort of mandate or standard.

What do you see as the biggest technology opportunities and challenges right now?

The opportunity for Hunter is to assist the independent aftermarket shop owner in keeping up with technology by developing products that address changing technology in a cost-effective and profitable way. Our goal every day is to help our customer be profitable with the equipment we sell.

Data is always good to have, but restrictions set upon how that data can be used can greatly limit how effective that data is. We think more data should be available to the aftermarket and to the vehicle owner.

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