Why Does the World Have a Shortage of Automotive Electricians?

The massive demand and the fact that the trainee numbers decreased drastically, for qualified automotive electricians particular those with the more advanced skills, has created a shortage of workers in this field.

The fact that changes in automotive technology brought along that auto electricians increasingly needs more and more advanced knowledge of sophisticated components and the working of these components.

Cause a normal school drop out not to be suitable to be trained as an auto electrician technician any more. It used to be the school dropped outs that was trained in the past to become workers in automotive industry. This is no longer the norm.

As people that’s wants to be trained as these technicians needs more advance skills and schooling now-a-days before they can be trained to be fit for these jobs. They must have a knowledge base of electronics and the working of electronic systems.

To become an advanced skilled auto electrician, you will have to undergo serious training in the understanding of these systems that is implemented into vehicles. You must have the skills and experience to work with computer diagnostic equipment.

This will be necessary for the following reasons.

The diagnostic scan tool only supplies the technician with a default code.
Then it is up to the technician to identify the possible cause of this defect.
This default code can still be misleading as it can be caused by the substitution from the one defect to another.
Therefore, the technician must understand this substitution due to the hop-technology that will try to override the defect by shifting it to a working component.
After the real cause of the defect was identified, the technician must have the skills and knowledge to rectify the defect.

These are a few reasons why less and less people gets trained as automotive technicians, because you basically needs people with after school educations to be trained as automotive electricians in this modern world we living in.

To me this will become an even bigger problem in the future as the amount of vehicles with this advanced technology installed into them will just increase in numbers.

Rocco van Rooyen is an Author on Automotive Solutions. As an Entrepreneur running his own automotive repair shop for the past twenty years and Author on the subject, he is at the forefront to provide solutions to all automotive related problems.

The New Audi R8 A Hotbed Of Automotive Technology

Audi presents its supercar entry for 2010 in the guise of the R8. The new R8 is a hotbed of automobile high technology; as with any excellent supercar, we should start with the engine. And what what an engine it is; Audi has placed a 5.2L ten cylinder engine in the new R8. Audi claims that the monster engine delivers five hundred twenty-five horsepower at eight thousand revolutions per minute, and three hundred pounds of torque at six thousand five hundred revolutions per minute. This engine, as claimed by the manufacturer, is able to propel the R8 from zero to sixty-two miles per hour in three and nine-tenths seconds.

The R8 also has a claimed top speed of two hundred miles per hour. The engine features sequential fuel induction through a dual overhead cam valve drivetrain. The engine runs on premium unleaded gasoline, and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, returns twelve miles per gallon in city driving and twenty miles per gallon on the highway. This is amazing gas mileage considering we are describing a ten cylinder super-charged engine that has a top speed of over two hundred miles per hour. Other technical highlights include a six speed manual tranmission and a standard all wheel drive system.

Audi has also outfitted the R8 with the latest safety features; those features include anti-lock brakes, magnetic ride control, and electronic stability control. Luxury features on this premium supercar include power window and door locks, a trip computer, a Bang and Olufsen AM/FM stereo with CD changer and MP3 capability, and a DVD-based navigation system. If you are looking for a very fast supercar with all of the luxury amenities, Audi would love for you to take a look at the R8

Get Under the Hood of an Automotive Technology Career

For those of you who are tired of getting your auto fix by continuously customizing and modifying your own car, or gluing yourselves to TV shows like “American Choppers” or “Pimp my Ride”, there are ways to expand — automotive technology could be a lucrative career instead of just a way of letting the day speed by on the couch.

Automotive technology schools provide students with the possibility of blending their technical and creative passions together. Your interest in design, form, color, and presentation can be satisfied along with your desire to problem solve, tinker, experiment, and work with ever-evolving technology and science.

According to the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, professional automotive technicians can earn $60,000 or more per year with the appropriate training — and with good reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pros in the field are in demand, with over 800,000 automotive technicians employed as of 2004. As the number of multi-car families continues to increase, job opportunities for automotive technicians are expected to grow as well.

An automotive technician career isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago, and as a result automotive technology schools have had to update their curriculum accordingly. With global positioning systems, Internet access, and alternate-fuel systems among the many increasingly common technological advancements found in cars, students at automotive technology schools cannot complete their training without knowledge in these fields. In fact, according to the College Board, more automotive technology schools are now even offering courses in stress management and customer service.

Not that automotive technology should be a stressful job — to the contrary, a successful automotive technician is one who is passionate about his or her career. But let’s face it, cars are a big part of the way we live and keeping them on the road is no small task. According to the Center for Automotive Research, by the year 2000, there were about 217 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., traveling 2.5 trillion miles, and consuming 160 billion gallons of gasoline. So sure, the job can get a little stressful at times — which is why an automotive technology career relies on education during crunch time.

Automotive Technology – Active and Passive Safety Systems

A driver is desperately trying to make a business appointment and fiddles with the phone to call ahead that she is running late. Another flips through a portfolio of CDs trying to find just the right music selection. Both overestimate their abilities and swerve momentarily into the next lane.

In today’s busy world, people often find themselves multi-tasking; and unfortunately, drivers are taking this trend to the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), not only do the majority of Americans view driving as a routine task (i.e., not worthy of special attention), 50% of all crashes involve driver “inattention.”

Safercar.gov agrees. It says 90% of vehicles in “fatal, single-vehicle rollovers involved routine driving maneuvers” and 85% of “rollover-related fatalities are single-vehicle crashes.” Based on these statistics, driver behavior seems to play a crucial role in fatal rollover crashes.

At the same time that drivers are being implored to practice safe and attentive driving, automotive engineers are also eager to create new technologies to help increase roadway safety. Isn’t there some fancy device that could warn a driver when he drifts into the next lane? React when another vehicle is in his blind spot? Apply the brakes before a crash?

Pre-crash mitigation systems attempt to combat some of the common causes of automobile accidents through warnings and automatic adjustments. Such systems are the focus of research initiatives into roadway safety and include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and side alert systems.

In a forward collision warning system, the vehicle’s system literally senses the distance between it and the vehicle or object ahead of it in the lane. Predicting the possibility of an accident by sensing the distance between slower moving and stopped vehicles ahead, it warns the driver when appropriate. If a crash occurs, the system initializes precautionary measures – such as pretensioning motorized safety belts and applying brakes. Indeed, active braking in the seconds before a collision can play a major role in crash energy reduction.

According to NHTSA, some 200,000 accidents every year are due to lane changes. To help reduce the number of these accidents, lane departure warning systems have been designed. They caution drivers when their vehicles leave their intended lanes. Using a monocular camera mounted behind the windshield, the lane departure warning system’s software programs estimate lane width and road curvature, determine the vehicle’s heading and lateral position and initialize a tactile, visual or audible alert to its driver when he or she crosses a line.

It’s not difficult to guess, then, what side alert systems do. Using infrared sensing and other technologies, such systems help drivers become aware of vehicles in side blind spots. In some models, these sensors are integrated into mirrors, taillights and side fascia. The side blind spot region is scanned for temperature changes to detect a vehicle, a visual indication can be given in mirrors, and, when necessary, an audible alert can be issued. The technology is so advanced, sensors ignore stationary roadside objects and are immune to noise.

Once an automotive engineer has cameras, IR sensors and radars on a car, there is an opportunity to imagine and develop many more products. And, as automotive engineers perfect these systems, they are likely to become more widely available to consumers.

Alternative Fuel Cars – The Future of Automotive Technology

The future of technology in terms of fuel consumption in the average automobile is slowly changing to allow for the development of more fuel economic, energy efficient, and even alternatively fueled vehicles alternatively fueled vehicles. While it may be a long time before alternative fuel cars are used as a commonplace means of transportation around the world, the technologies that may be used in place of the standard combustion engine are already reaching a form by which the average person may expect to see some of these technologies in their vehicles on the road very soon.

One of the technologies generating the most buzz in the automotive world is the possibility of using water as a way of powering a vehicle, and with good reason. Salt water, which is the type of water that has been used in numerous experiments about the viability of burning water as a fuel, is the most abundant natural resource available to us here on Earth, as we are almost seventy percent water on this planet. The experiments that have been conducted on the water have been somewhat successful on a smaller scale, but larger scale use in vehicles may be something that could be a long time down the road.

In the short term, the most viable automotive technology for alternative fuels may be electricity. Many automotive developers have been generating a lot of different methods of using electricity in a vehicle as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels to power transportation. While an electric car would be a great technology to have in a vehicle, the reality is that most of the electricity generated worldwide is done so thanks to the use of other non-renewable resources, like coal or natural gas. If an alternative means of generating electricity is also put into effect by generating companies, the viability of the electric vehicle would greatly increase.

Whether using water or electricity as the means of fueling the vehicle, the technology of an alternative fuel as a means of driving a vehicle can only be as effective if there is a commitment to mass producing the technology on a consumer level. If these vehicles are made with a price that can appeal to the average consumer, and at a level of technology that the average consumer can maintain, or at least understand, on their own, only then can the mass acceptance and use of these alternative fuels in vehicles be realized.

Significance Of Latest Automotive Technology

The last few decades have seen the advent of technology in all the spheres of life. The automotive industry is no exception. The vehicles have changed tremendously over the past decade. Vehicle manufacturers are always on the look out for new innovations to win over the customer segment. But are these new additions beneficial for a driver? The main purpose of this article is to discuss the pros and cons of the latest automotive technology:

Safety- With respect to safety, the enhanced technology has only complicated matters. In the good old days, the vehicles were not known for their speed. With the improvement in technology, the speed of vehicles has increased. But it has also lead to large number of fatalities in accidents, though technologies like shock absorbers and racing suspensions have been added to the vehicles for making driving safer and easier. Seat belt safety which became popular in the 1980’s, has certainly reduced the number of accidents. Enhancing the strength of cars is another strategy which has been adopted by various automobile producing companies.

Power Steering- In terms of power steering, the cars have certainly improved. Now, you don’t require to use power while turning cars. Also reverse parking is now a simpler process. So in this regard, you can say that new technology has generated a positive impact.

Improved side view mirrors- During the early days of the production of vehicles, the near side view mirrors were not fitted in the vehicles. But in all the contemporary vehicles, you will find near side mirrors. These mirrors are extremely helpful while changing lanes. This prevents road accidents and also makes driving easier.

Gear-less vehicles- Some people find it difficult to drive vehicles, in which gears have to be changed regularly. In order to aid such people, new vehicles which run automatically, with only adjustment of the speed being required have been invented. This innovation has acted as a boon for people with limited reflexes or senior citizens in the twilight of their life. Such people have also now got the opportunity to drive vehicles, whereas earlier they were dependent on public transport.

Auto Partnerships Resulting In Top Automotive Technology

Back in the days automotive companies would focus on their own individual projects. However, lately the trend is for major manufacturers to work together either with one another or with software companies in order to develop innovative new technology. The result are cars that are more efficient and technology that is more cutting edge than ever before.

A good example of partnership creation in order to open new markets is what has happened in China. That country, with the largest population on earth, became a major target of auto manufacturers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. At the same time, the Chinese government was taking major steps to develop that country’s own auto industry. Each side knew that they could help the other. So major partnerships were created between Chinese and European, American and Asian auto manufacturers. The auto manufacturers from Europe, America and Asia used the Chinese companies as a conduit to sell their cars in the Chinese market. In return, they assisted the Chinese auto makers to develop their own vehicles. Today China is the largest auto market on Earth and just about every major brand of car is sold there.

Next came the issue of new technologies. In the old days the auto manufacturers developed their own technologies. Now they are creating partnerships with such companies as Microsoft, Gracenote, NAVTEQ, Nuance Communication, Sony Corporation, TeleNav, ViaMichelin and others to help them create new technologies. The result, for example, are infotainment systems like the Ford Sync and MyFord Touch which was developed through a collaboration between Ford and Microsoft. Microsoft has since developed partnerships with other car manufacturers to help them create their own infotainment systems. These infotainment systems are using technologies developed by Gracenote, NAVTEQ, Nuance Communication, Sony Corporation, TeleNav and ViaMichelin. Gracenote is providing upgraded music entertainment, NAVTEQ the maps, traffic and location data for the navigation systems, Nuance Communications is offering the voice recognition technology so that the driver can control elements of the car via voice command. Audio manufacturers like Sony are creating the super sophisticated audio and audio-video systems that are now appearing in cars. TeleNav, known as the largest global wireless navigation services provider, is supplying the technology that connects navigation in the car to GPS. ViaMichelin makes the Michelin hotel and restaurant guides accessible to drivers and their passengers.

Auto manufacturers also have to tackle the development of new technologies that assist in improving fuel efficiency. So they have formed partnerships or joint ventures among themselves in order to share the cost. So we are seeing Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, partnering with Chinese battery and auto maker BYD to help in the development of electric vehicle technologies. PSA Peugeot Citroen is known worldwide as an expert in diesel technology. It has partnered with Japanese auto maker Mitsubishi to produce electric cars. Volkswagen partnered with Porsche to help the luxury car maker develop high performance engines that meet environmental regulations. Later Volkswagen acquired Porsche.

When auto makers finally decided to develop electric cars, partnerships were formed to develop the technology. General Motors and Ford joined with South Korean battery manufacturer LG to develop and supply them with the next generation lithium-ion batteries used to energize electric cars. Moreover, General Motors and Reva have partnered to produce a zero emission car for India. In addition, Daimler became the first major auto maker to buy a stake in Tesla Motors, an electric car manufacturer.

iPod Integration in the Top Ten Automotive Technologies of the Decade

It’s amazing how far reaching MP3 technology has become since the introduction of the iPod in 2003. Apple’s vision of the iPod has truly extended to just about anything consumers can imagine. We can play our iPods anywhere. At home, at the gym, on a hike and in the car. But it’s the car stereo application that seems to have fallen short for consumers. But its not Apple’s fault. They foresaw the OEM car stereo application when they first introduced the iPod and even approached Alpine Electronics, the OEM car stereo maker for a huge majority of vehicles you see on the road. They wanted to collaborate with Alpine to integrate the iPod with the factory car stereo’s so that consumers could enjoy having their iPods on the road. It raised the a big question, “wouldn’t that kill the CD changer market?”. The honest answer was yes. The short story is the cry that came back from the manufacturers of the CD changer was too big and the result is consumers are today left with the poor fidelity options of FM modulation, cassette adapters and 3.5mm jacks. Fear not however, because this isn’t the only option anymore.

Earlier this year Edmunds.com named iPod Integration in their Top Ten automotive technologies of the Decade. “We’ve come a long way from carrying around bulky multi-CD cases. Today drivers can bring along all their favorite music with a device that fits in a pocket and can be integrated with most vehicles.” – Automotive Industries, Jan2010, Vol. 190 Issue 1, p53-53. And it’s not as expensive as you might think. But let’s explain how it works first.

iPod and iPhone Car Modules Play HIGH QUALITY music from your iPod and iPhone HARDWIRED through various available ports of your vehicles factory car stereo (ie: CD changer port) creating a truly integrated iPod Car Stereo. One of the most innovative and simple to install and use integration solutions is from DICE Electronics. Read what Stephen Witt, Dice Electronics new VP of Marketing has to say. Steve is the former VP of marketing at Alpine Electronics and was there when the struggle of integrating the iPod with factory car stereo’s began.

“In today’s digital world, consumers want a simple plug and play and cost effective integration solution for their cars. Everyone wants easy to understand value that will work in their cars. This “keep it simple” consumer behavior plays right into our strategy of promoting the complete solution integration including the connector to hook up their iPod/iPhone.” – Stephen Witt EVP, Dice Electronics

Here is a list of the features and benefits of installing a iPod/iPhone Car Stereo Integration Module:

Hard-wired Connection
Seamless Connectivity with CD Quality Music
No Cassette Adapters
No Bulky FM Transmitter
Stereo Head-Unit Control
Music Control at Your Fingertips
Album/Artist Text Display
Album/Artist Information at a Glance
Constant Charging
Keeps Your iPod Charged on the go!
No Cigarette Lighter Charger
Steering Wheel Control
Easily Change Tracks and adjust volume
Keeps Your Hands Safely on the Wheel
Bluetooth Connectivity (optional)
Allows Hands-Free Calling
Music is Paused or Silenced When Answering Calls
Incoming Calls are Heard Over the Speakers
Vehicle-ignition-controlled playback
Music automatically pauses when ignition is off and resumes when ignition is turned back on

Telematics and Big Data: Next Generation Automotive Technology

Telematics, Big Data, and Analytics are the three big important ways that are driving the auto industry forward. In this article, we will see how big data analytics, with the insights of information processing, can help transform the automotive and transportation industry globally.

The future of telematics is with big data.

Traditionally, in most automotive and transportation enterprises, specialized business processes have always been analyzed and modeled on whatever limited empirical data or contextual information was available to them. Proper data was few and far between. Or, even if the required data was available, enterprises hardly had any technological know-how with them to harness all the information necessary for their use. It was quite a difficult task to deal with such a situation where enterprises heavily relied upon conventional methods such as going through previous driving records, including taking into account people’s age and gender, locale demographics to accurately predict risk levels among its consumer base. This was something haphazard, awkward and unreliable.

Now with the advanced big data analytics, accessibility to scores of information and the science of telematics are putting the current understandings in new light, offering new conversation starters, and creating new potential outcomes that were not really possible before. “Big Data” as we know it is changing everything for the better. It is changing how the vehicles are built, how they work, how we use them and how they collaborate with everything else in this world: From vehicle-assembling to insurance underwriting, to traffic modeling to optimizing traffic routes, Big Data is changing the world of car/fleet transportation industry in a big way.

Big data analytics plays a very important role in the telematics field. The fact of the matter is that the science of telematics which involves telecommunications and vehicular technologies demonstrates how big data analytics can improve supply chain management, fleet management, increase yield and drastically reduce material costs, not to mention the quality and safety issues that never get compromised using proper big data analytics. In fact, the use of relevant data directly leads to more opportunities. It is in this context we will see how Big Data is bringing transformative elements into the various industry sectors especially in insurance, financial, automotive and transportation and other sectors and improve their business processes.

Telematics All The Way

Telematics is ushering an era of big changes. The way vehicles are insured and how they are driven or repaired are all changing for the better.

Earlier, we have seen that insurance and maintenance standards of vehicles were based on some kind of conjecture and the rough utilization of crude data that was available at hand. But with the use of telematics, a strong evidence of data is promptly accessible that can revamp entire branches of the commercial enterprises and change drivers’ driving behaviors.

Thanks to telematics, the wealth of data that can be derived from vehicles can also be made available to drivers. This is also one of the big changes that telematics promises. As far as valid data is concerned, there are simple ways people can immediately access from their connected car, and this same data can also be transmitted to the manufacturers or insurance companies for that matter. So when data is available and is accessible to users then there is going to be better understandings of their vehicles’ performance, ultimately resulting in helping drivers adopt good driving behavior. Drivers will have access to GPS-related data that will let them know their driving styles, including real-time information on fuel consumption, speed limits, hard acceleration, braking, phone distraction, etc. All this useful information can impact not only their driving performance but also can extend the longevity of their cars.

Driving Innovation and Continued Growth for Auto Insurance

To give you just one example: Consider the insurance industry. Using the great combination of telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies are able to enhance their business processes to an extent that was not possible before.

Basically, the insurance industry is based on analytics and probability. Therefore, to have a proper access to accurate and in-depth data that identifies with every customer’s lifestyle and risk always works in the best interest of the insurance industry. This is an area where telematics has been adding quite a lot of significant value propositions that matter greatly to both insurance companies and their paying clients alike.

With telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies don’t have to resort to guesswork to fix premiums for their customers. It has enabled insurers to reward policyholders, who display good driving conduct and check their vehicle health stats, with lower premiums and rebate offerings by taking the guesswork out of the equation. This is nothing but a big data approach to telematics insurance.

Technologically Advanced Cars

Those of you who think that your car is just a means of transportation — a box that takes you from one place to another — think again. Today’s cars have become computers in their own right. Electronic sensors are now used to measure a car’s performance and microprocessors are present to modify components so that they perform properly under any condition. New technologies have been introduced that park the car without any action from the driver and night vision technology is making it possible for drivers to see better at night.

But there is more coming. And the federal government and a major car manufacturer — Ford Motor Company — have taken steps to assure that these new innovations become reality.

After more than 10 years of research, Ford is creating a task force of planners, engineers and scientists from around the world who already have experience in developing sophisticated safety equipment as well as infotainment and driver convenience systems to create intelligent vehicles that, among other things, will prevent collisions and allow cars on the road to communicate with one another. The company, along with other car manufacturers and the federal government, is working to create a “common language” that allows cars to communicate based on a common communication standard. Moreover, the partnership also intends to launch driving clinics starting this summer to test the technology. Ford will be donating two prototype Ford Taurus sedans to the project which will be managed by the Intelligent Transportation Systems of the U.S. Department of Transportation and which also involves the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership, a joint research group headed by Ford and General Motors. The project will help create standards and will be completed in 2013.

The result of the technology could lead to the easing of traffic delays which will save time and fuel costs. Moreover, the technology in conjunction with infrastructure innovations will provide drivers with real time traffic reports that will assist them in choosing less congested routes.

The communication between cars will be based on Wi-Fi, which allows a full 360 degree range of detection. So the car will be able to alert the driver if he or she is on a path to a collision, when a vehicle ahead stops or suddenly slows down, when traffic patterns change, if there is a chance of a collision when changing lanes, when the car is approaching stationary or parked vehicles, or if another driver loses control of his or her car.

All of this is possible because car manufacturers including Ford have already developed technologies that can be used. These include Collision Warning and Blind Spot Information Systems which use radar to detect vehicles or objects near the vehicle.

Moreover, Ford has created a so-called “smart intersection” which communicates information to and from vehicles. For example, this system allows a vehicle to communicate its speed, direction and position about 10 times per second at a distance of 300 to 500 meters.

The ability of a car to “talk” allows for all sorts of other actions. For example, it could allow the car to reserve or bid for a preferred parking spot before reaching a destination

It appears that the federal government understands how important it is to develop such a technology. Two members of the United States House of Representatives, Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri) have introduced legislation to permit the federal government to select six cities in which to test a system. In addition, the Congress is also considering a new surface transportation bill that will manage how the government spends money from its transportation budget. Those who favor intelligent transportation systems want to be certain that the agenda is part of the government’s long term planning.

Technology is also being developed that would permit the car to notify authorities as an accident is happening. The vehicle’s speed, steering and braking data as well as video from inside and outside the car would be automatically sent to police and insurance companies. Moreover, onboard sensors will be able to detect pot holes in the road and notify road maintenance authorities.