Shop of Tomorrow showcase of technology at AAPEX

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is producing the Shop of Tomorrow at AAPEX in Booth 3066 to showcase an innovative breakthrough approach to vehicle service using connected technology. In the Shop of Tomorrow, management and service information systems communicate seamlessly with equipment in the back shop. New this year, the shop also communicates with a cloud-based telematics service and even an automotive service smartphone app.

ALLDATA, Carma Systems, Garage Operator, Hunter Engineering and WHI Solutions have been early adopters and pioneers in the use of i·SHOP and other standards in their products. For 2011, the Shop of Tomorrow sponsors have taken the vision of modern connectivity between the customer, the vehicle and the service environment to a new level.

“Vehicle owners experience connectivity throughout their lives, and in the Shop of Tomorrow we demonstrate how aftermarket service providers can offer the same level of convenience and connectivity between the consumer, their vehicle and their chosen service provider,” said Scott Luckett, vice president, technology standards, AAIA. “This isn’t a science experiment – this is a demonstration of the technology needed to build a competitive aftermarket telematics solution.”

All of the relevant components of automotive service are connected through standardized web services in the Shop of Tomorrow: 

  • Diagnostic, service information and telematics services delivered from the cloud by ALLDATA;
  • A plug-in telematics device and cloud-based services powered by Carma Systems;
  • Back shop alignment and service solutions by Hunter Engineering communicating seamlessly with the shop management systems;
  • Internet parts location and ordering services engineered by WHI Solutions; and
  • The Garage Operator management system serving as the hub of the communications network

Completely new this year is the “Service Needed” alert notification pushed out to an Apple iPad at the same time the shop is notified that a customer’s vehicle requires service. The location of the vehicle and the diagnostic trouble code are exchanged through the Shop of Tomorrow network, and customer service begins the moment the problem is identified. 

The technology demonstrated at the Shop of Tomorrow represents an aftermarket alternative to embedded telematics promoted by car companies. The Shop of Tomorrow offers to revolutionize the work flow inside the shop and the customer experience before they go to the shop. Twenty-minute demonstrations are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day of AAPEX, Nov. 1-3, at Booth 3066.