Mar 7, 2011

IDC Manufacturing Insights Teams with Society of Automotive Engineers to Study the Impact of New Vehicle Technology on Diagnosis & Service

FRAMINGHAM, Mass – IDC Manufacturing Insights today announced the launch of a joint study with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) on the impact of increased vehicle technology on service, diagnostics, and technician safety. The study targets not only the technicians at dealerships and independent repair facilities, but also the OEMs and suppliers that design, engineer, tool, and produce the vehicles.

Scheduled to begin this week, IDC Manufacturing Insights and the SAE will use the study findings to make recommendations to OEMs, suppliers, and other industry groups to help improve education, training, tools, and future design. These recommendations will be presented at SAEs annual On-Board Diagnostics Symposium in September.

Most of the cars produced today have triple the amount of software code in electronic control units (ECUs) per vehicle compared to previous models, and with new electric and hybrid technologies, and the increased number of aftermarket devices in vehicles, the complexity of vehicle system diagnostics and service is intensifying every day. As a result, IDC Manufacturing Insights identified an opportunity to assist the industry in uncovering the challenges and needs associated with these unprecedented levels of technical complexity and added safety concerns.

"The potential needs and gaps in capabilities for servicing new vehicles could have a profound effect on market adoption, OEM warranty repair costs, and technician service efficiency and safety," said Sheila Brennan, program manager, Product Life-Cycle Strategies Practice at IDC Manufacturing Insights. "For this reason, we feel it is vital to gain insight from those directly involved in these systems to provide factual information for all stakeholders in support of future decision making."

IDC Manufacturing Insights will hold a complementary webinar later this year to reveal the study's findings and industry recommendations. Details will be posted on the IDC Manufacturing Insights events page.

The study will begin on March 10th with SAE members and then will be expanded to other groups such as Identifix, iATN, and several other participating companies. The survey is confidential and is designed to take only 10 minutes. IDC Manufacturing Insights is also offering an incentive for qualified participants who complete the survey: entry in a random drawing to win one of five American Express gift cards worth $25.