Appointed to the newly created role of chief technology officer (CTO) for MEMA, Brian Daugherty has a lot of ground to cover. In this exclusive interview, Daugherty talks about his first year in this new role, MEMA’s technology goals and key priorities, as well as the risks and opportunities created by technology and the rapid advancement of the connected vehicle.
It has been just over a year since you joined MEMA in the newly created position of CTO. The creation of your position speaks to a need in the market for information on the rapidly evolving technology space within the aftermarket. You have a lot of ground to cover in a very fast-paced segment of the industry. What are your key priorities in this role?
AASA is very active in a number of technology areas including: telematics, vehicle data access and security, and cybersecurity. We are working to ensure that the aftermarket industry has access to the data they need to be successful. MEMA is active in fuel economy standards (CAFE and Phase II), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), automated and autonomous technology and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications. We also work closely with NHTSA and other government agencies to understand their priorities and help them understand our members’ priorities.
Going forward, what do you think will be the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities for the automotive aftermarket when it comes to emerging and advanced vehicle technologies?
Cybersecurity will continue to be an overarching concern with connected vehicles and as the industry locks down vehicles using new architectures, we need to ensure that the aftermarket has the necessary access. Everything will be affected, including OBD-II access, so we are working with SAE to help develop new standards that both protect vehicles from cyber-attack and allow legitimate access. As ADAS and automated vehicle systems become more prevalent, the complexity of replacement parts will require more engineering and development. In addition, the repair of these vehicles will continue the trend toward more specialized equipment including radar and camera targets for system alignment.
One of the biggest aftermarket opportunities on the horizon is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which uses 5.9 GHz, two-way radio systems that enable vehicles to exchange position information and other data with nearby vehicles. This allows vehicles to “see” each other on the roadways and provide longer-range warnings about potential dangers than is currently possible. NHTSA has just released their proposed rule to require this technology on all new light vehicles sold in the U.S. The aftermarket will play a large role in outfitting existing vehicles with V2V systems since the technology is most useful when a high percentage of the fleet is equipped. It is estimated that the annual OEM V2V equipment market will be worth $5 billion per year. With 264 million non-V2V equipped vehicles on the road, the aftermarket opportunity is enormous.
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