Research and teaching in theory and practice
In the Center of Automotive Service Technology, the research closely intermeshes with the teaching as well as with partners from industry and the public sector. On the one hand, CAST examines the impact of new technologies, the changing automotive industry and new societal trends in automobile After-Sales. On the other, it investigates the opportunities to recognise new technologies and find ways of fitting them into the automotive value added chain. The applied research fields concentrate on the following issues:
- After-Sales for electromobility
The maintenance, fault diagnosis and repair of electric vehicles will undergo immense changes compared to the situation with conventionally powered vehicles. Many issues regarding the maintenance and repair of battery-powered electric vehicles and those with fuel cells are still largely unclear and are solved in very different ways by the various players in the market.
Detailed information on the opportunities and risks which electric mobility will bring for the motor vehicle trade and for After-Sales in particular can be found in the study "Entwicklung der Beschäftigung im After Sales - Effekte aus der Elektromobilität (Employment trends in After-Sales - effects from electromobility". This was also explored using resources available at CAST.
Innovative maintenance and repair concepts
Various combinations of materials, composites and joining technologies are providing more and more varied challenges for the Service companies when repairing accident-damaged vehicles.
- Vehicle diagnostics of the future
New technologies offer completely new possibilities and also challenges for the diagnosis of faults in motor vehicles. Since vehicles can be individualised more and more and the mechatronic and electronic systems in the vehicles are becoming increasingly more complex, this can bring conventional diagnostic systems and processes to their limits. This is where technologies such as Big Data or Data Science and artificial intelligence offer promising opportunities to further develop automotive diagnostics for the benefit of all parties concerned.
- Going down new roads in the man-machine interaction
The closely intermeshed collaboration between man and machine is also having a bigger and bigger impact on the routine work in the vehicle workshop. It is quite a few years ago now that digital tools made their entry into the vehicle workshop to help humans to service and repair vehicles. No-one today can imagine a workshop without digital testers or workshop information systems. The man-machine collaboration is still predominantly characterised by the flow of information. To improve it, it is conceivable that augmented reality or other innovative technologies will be used in the workshop processes.