ETI Inaugural Automaker Recognition Award Winners Announced

Automakers recognized for supporting ETI members and the aftermarket
Contributed by Bob Chabot, ManicMedia LLC

The Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) presented its first-ever Automaker (OE) Awards. The awards were created to achieve four goals, namely to:

  • Inform automakers what the perception of them is by the industry relative to “OE’s as partners.”
  • Educate the ETI’s membership and industry on perceptions of the OE’s by the industry.
  • Recognize those OE’s that clearly have better engagement with the tool, information and equipment providers that comprise the ETI membership.
  • Provide all OE’s with a “balance sheet” each can use to better measure their industry perception and participation.

“ETI considers itself as the liaison between the companies that build service equipment, tools and service information and the vehicle manufacturers,” noted Ben Johnson, the director of Product Management for Mitchell Repair Information Company LLC, and host of the OE Awards session. “It allows us to facilitate a dialogue that provides us with insights into what those new vehicles are going to be and can ensure we are delivering the right products to help the aftermarket service/repair industry support those new vehicles.”

The methodology used to determine the awards began with an 11 Point OEM Support Survey, which was sent to all ETI delegates, Each of the questions referenced unique criteria, and were pre-assigned to one of four awards. The ETI delegates were asked to rank the OE’s, based on the criteria in each query. The delegates’ scored responses were then tabulated to determine rankings by criteria, and when grouped, overall award winners.

“The 11 survey questions containing the criteria (listed in the table) were chosen with the three specific awards and one overall award in mind,” Johnson shared. “The complete rankings for each criteria were shared earlier with automakers, and the ETI wanted to share the full results.”

”For your convenience, the yellow-, orange- and blue-shaded criteria in the table reflect how they were used to determine three specific category awards and one overall award,” Johnson explained. “The green-shaded criteria in the table was relevant to all three specific awards, so it was used in all three categories. To determine the overall aggregate award, all of the color-shaded criteria were used. Of note, the nonshaded criteria at the bottom of the table addressed the emerging field of telematics. It was not used to determine any of this year’s awards. Rather, it was used to probe awareness and gather data, with a view toward having an inaugural telematics award category next year.”

Johnson then announced the inaugural winners of four awards:

  • Toyota Motor Sales was chosen as “The OE Most Supportive of Scan Tool Companies.” Delegates appreciated Toyota for providing scan tool companies with good data at reasonable prices.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was recognized as “The OE Most Supportive of Service Information Companies.” The voting delegates viewed Fiat Chrysler as best at providing service information companies with easy-to-consume content at reasonable prices.
  • Toyota Motor Sales was ranked by delegates as “The OE Most Supportive of ETI Events.” This award recognized the value of information shared with attendees at ETI events, participation in scheduled private one-on-one meetings, being responsive to ETI member questions and more.
  • Toyota Motor Sales also received ETI’s first ever “Annual Industry Recognition Award.” This award recognizes the automaker ranked highest overall by ETI member companies, as aggregated from all criteria rankings.

Toyota Motor Sales delegates congratulated by Greg Potter (far left) and Ben Johnson (far right) as the automaker that provides the best level of support to ETI’s tool, information and equipment providers. (Image — Equipment and Tool Institute)

“All of us at Toyota really appreciate the recognition from ETI members and the awards we received,” stated David Stovall, manager of Diagnostics and Telematics at Toyota Motor Sales. “Ultimately, the support we provide as an automaker, wherever customers choose to get their vehicles serviced, matters. It’s what keeps them coming back.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles representatives recognized as the automaker that provides the best level of service information to ETI’s tool, information and equipment providers. (Image — Equipment and Tool Institute)




“ETI members have been long aware that automakers do support the automotive aftermarket,” Johnson emphasized. “These awards allow us to recognize, publicize and help educate others about OEM efforts to support customers when cars roll off the assembly line, wherever they choose to have them serviced.”

“The Equipment and Tool Institute values our relationship with the automakers and understands the importance of working together to better the industry,” noted Jessie Korosec, ETI Marketing and Events Manager. “We feel it is important to recognize the automakers that make significant efforts to supply our member companies and the aftermarket with access to complete information to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes are achieved. It’s also vital to make sure that our members’ voices are being heard so that we can better serve them and act as a conduit to industry partners to ensure that vehicles are being repaired safely and correctly which, in turn, influences customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.”


Message from ETI Executive Manager Greg Potter

Hello ETI members and partners. It has been another very active and successful year for ETI.

We continue to add to members equity and keep our membership at our highest levels.

Our challenges also seem to grow with our success as vehicles get more complex and more difficult to service. But this is nothing new, we have been talking about this every year since I have been in the industry, and that has been a few years….

Our industry is robust and we have been very resilient and have continually overcome many of these issues in the past and I assume we will again in the future with your support.

The aftermarket, as a whole, is very strong and market studies from both AASA and ACA indicate more strong years to come.

The average age of the vehicle park continues to grow, and as we know these vehicles as they pass out of warranty find themselves quickly in the aftermarket for service.

Our collision industry is facing even greater pressure as these vehicles in for service can be very new, and the service procedures are increasingly complex.

The partnership between OEM’s and the independent service and tool/equipment providers is more important now than ever. We treasure our relationships with our long-term OEM partners in this industry. It is unique compared to other markets and the reason is that we need each other. We are both working for the same goal. To give our customers a great service experience and keep them loyal to our brand.

At our Tool Tech conference, we addressed many of the challenges we face heading into a rapidly changing future. I hope you all had a chance to attend this event, it was a great success.

I know our planning committees have worked very hard to give you a great program and the surveys reveal we did just that!

We are entering a new era. The days of “business as usual” for Scan tool makers is changing fast. Due to security concerns the ability to reverse engineer will become much more difficult if not impossible using current methods.

Diagnosing electrical/computer systems on today’s vehicles is essential for nearly any repair.

Allowing aftermarket companies the ability to create their own diagnostic software is an important part of the current repair industry. The aftermarket creates some of the best diagnostic software in the industry. They have collected vast amounts of data from previous repairs and use this information to help guide technicians to root causes with highly intelligent algorithms. In many instances, they do a better job than the manufacturers software for vehicles a few years old.

Therefore, the importance of receiving complete and accurate data and diagnostic routines from the OEM’s in order to create this software is a benefit to both the OEM and the aftermarket.

At the last two Tool Tech conferences, I discussed the future of vehicle diagnostics and the associated establishment of Authentication, Authorization and Secure Session procedures/standards.

These efforts are continuing as we work closely with OEM’s, their tier one suppliers and our aftermarket partners to forge a viable, secure and fair solution to both wired and wireless vehicle data access.

In September, The Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired  by Representative Fred Upton, sent this letter to Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to work with the associated stakeholders and develop a plan to address a concern about cyber security and in specific security at the OBD-II port.

The letter was cc’d to US EPA, The Auto Alliance, Global Automakers, SAE, AutoCare Association and California Air Resources Board. Quote – “As such, we are writing today to request the NHTSA convene an industry-wide effort to develop a plan of action for addressing the risk posed by the existence of the OBD-II port in the modern vehicle ecosystem. This will require an open and collaborative process to ensure that all interested stakeholders have an opportunity to contribute to this discussion…”

The Aftermarket and OEM associations responded with our combined support for the effort, and our desire to work together for a fair and equitable solution.

SAE then responded to NHTSA that the effort falls in their domain should be led by them and that they would reach out to the affected parties to develop a plan to address this issue.

SAE has now formed the Data Link Connector Vehicle Security Committee, SAE J3138 to develop some standards, recommended practices and informational reports to help guide the industry and ETI is fully engaged in this process

So, once again, albeit 3-4 years late in our opinion, we are promoting a standardize and unified process for secure authorized access for all legitimate stakeholders. One that will provide multiple access in a fair, equitable, safe and secure way.

I also encourage our membership to participate on this committee and several have stepped up to help make sure the aftermarket is well represented in this solution.

Keep in mind that whatever solution prevails for not only remote access to in-vehicle networks, but even direct wired connections for enhanced diagnostics and reprogramming, the new methods will include some sort of Authentication, Authorization, Secure Session Establishment and Rights Management.

As mentioned last year as well, we are also seeing a further merger between what was once quite separated repair segments. Electronics for driver assist to near full autonomous vehicles have pressured the collision repair industry into new repair process and tools. One issue of note is the plethora of tools and procedures for calibrating the driver aid devices.

Every manufacturer has unique tools and procedures for calibrating and testing these systems.

The tools alone are causing major issues and barriers for multi-brand repair facilities at which are most collision repair shops. We encourage work on a multi-brand solution to this issue.

2016 was the year of the Pre-Post Scan debate in the collision segment. ETI plays a very important role in this debate. To ensure that shops have the ability to property and fully repair todays’ vehicles, it is even more essential that the aftermarket scan tool companies have access to complete and up-to-date data from the manufacturers so their tools can perform the needed functions to fully scan and diagnose issues with newer models than is normal in the mechanical repair segment.

Early in 2017, the ETI Board worked through a facilitated strategic planning process to keep us focused on the needs of our members.

This is just a first step in a continuing evolution process that helped us to re-confirm most of our current beliefs and realize some new opportunities.

A strategy map was developed as a result that we can refer to as we progress with our goals and opportunities.

Three key initiatives that we will focus on are 1) Member Engagement,  2) Data Information and Access, and 3) OEM Engagement.

ETI’s Summer Tech week is here. We will have direct meetings with GM, Ford, FCA and VW/Audi the week of June 12. Please attend and support this important event and enjoy our OEM appreciation dinner at Meadowbrook Hall June 15th.

Winter Tech Week will be held in the US this December 4-7 based at the Hyatt Newport Beach California and Tool Tech 2018 will be May 1-3 at the Lowes Ventana Canyon in Tucson please save these dates.

All the best!

Greg Potter
ETI Executive Manager


ETI Market Research: A Compass with a Heart

ETI is critical to both the manufacture and serviceability of automobiles
Contributed by Bob Chabot, ManicMedia LLC

Increasing complexity of vehicles continues to impact the automotive aftermarket. In particular, those who service and repair automobiles are directly affected — many of who are customers of the tool, equipment and information suppliers that comprise the membership of the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI). That makes awareness of, and preparation for, emerging technologies essential must-haves.

“Developing a thought-leader position on this topic is central to ETI’s role as a facilitator and bridge between automakers and aftermarket service/repair,” explained ETI Executive Manager Greg Potter. “ETI is positioned to work on things other people and organizations in the industry cannot. That’s part of the unique value our members provide.”

“Every year the ETI Marketing Committee develops a Market Research Project in an effort to promote a better understanding of the landscape of the industry and to assist our members in bringing new and improved equipment and tools to the marketplace. ETI uses this research to help all segments of the automotive industry provide aftermarket shops with better equipment and solutions.  This year ETI commissioned the Automotive Components White Paper, conducted by The Martec Group. The white paper provided valuable insights, impressed upon ETI members their value to the automotive aftermarket industry and encouraged further involvement by tool, equipment and information suppliers,” said Jessie Korosec, ETI Marketing and Events Manager.

“ETI market research studies and white papers deliver valuable industry information to aftermarket tool and equipment companies and are amongst the many benefits we offer our members,” shared Jessie Korosec, ETI Marketing and Events Manager. “New technologies create challenges for ETI and its members to be prepared to provide products and services which enable the aftermarket to maintain and surpass the level of service the public expects for these new vehicles. In turn, properly repaired and serviced vehicles lead to increased customer satisfaction, which translates to brand loyalty toward the vehicle manufacturer.” (All images — ETI / The Martec Group)

Meaningful Direction That Can Drive Your Business Forward
“Technology is running faster than the industry,” noted Ben Johnson, who presented the findings of the white paper to ToolTech 2017 attendees.  Johnson is a Past President of ETI, serves on the Marketing Committee, and is Mitchell 1’s current director of Product Management.

“What if in the coming automotive era of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and other complex technologies, something catastrophic happens?” he posed. “Without OEMs being diligent and thorough in helping to enable the service and repair of vehicles in the aftermarket, what would that say to consumers? Specifically, if owners can’t get the vehicles serviced where they choose, how would they feel about the brand they purchased, let alone when their next purchase occurred?”

Johnson informed attendees the market research project began on January 23, 2017 and concluded with a final report on April 6, 2017. He then shared details of the white paper’s methodology and focus, as well as several of the insights garnered by the marketing workgroup.

Martec’s primary research for the white paper consisted of direct interviews (telephone and face-to-face) were with equipment, tool and information providers; service and repair shops; market research partners; key customers; and third party industry sources. In addition, Martec also gathered and considered extensive secondary research comprised of technical reports, patents, research data; company reports, government studies and other relevant information.

Martec then focused on identifying current and emerging technologies that had traction in the marketplace by:

  • Evaluating various vehicle systems/components — To better understand the long-term impact on service and repair, and specifically the tools and equipment required, it is critical to consider technological trends and take their pulse. For example, which are on the rise? Conversely, what components/technologies are in decline, are being phased out, and/or are becoming obsolete?
  • Analyzing the factors impacting the way vehicles will be engineered in the future — Here the white paper’s considered primary systems (such as valvetrain, engine, exhaust, brakes, fuel supply, transmissions, steering and suspension, etc.), with a focus on specific impacts on scan tools, mechanical systems, shop management, equipment and other interests vital to ETI members.


Based on research, ETI team input and industry expert insights, The Martec Group, in conjunction with the ETI workgroup, prioritized future automotive technologies by expected introduction.



Like Cause Leads to Effect, Implementation Spurs Preparation
The ETI white paper explored the future of components across automotive systems. A list of nearly 45 components was identified during research. Following discussions with ETI’s workgroup, this list was pared down to 13 components deemed to be “on the rise” and most likely to impact the industry. In addition, the workgroup sorted the components by their expected implementation timeframe — current (1-3 years), short term (3-6 years) and long term (6+ years).

Of note, the 13 shortlisted components showcased several key technological themes members and the aftermarket should be cognizant of. These included safety innovations, (e.g. ADAS); fuel economy/CAFE mandates (e.g. engine downsizing, turbochargers, hybrids,10-speed transmissions, fuel tank and exhaust EVAP controls); electronic solutions (e.g. software/telematics, drivability, sound, telematics, and connected driving), and a transition toward 48-Volt electrical/electronic architectures.

“The outlook for the automotive components reported in the white paper is very promising, particularly in regards to the opportunities pertaining to safety, fuel efficiency, electronics and new technological solutions,” advised Dan Bielak, Martec’s senior market analyst who managed the white paper project. “It will be interesting to see how and when these new complex components and technologies impact the aftermarket.”

“For example, some technologies such as ADAS have already appeared in aftermarket shops; more advanced ADAS technologies are inbound. Other innovations won’t affect shops until they have been implemented on new vehicles for three or more years. For example, in the longer term, autonomous driving is arguably one of the biggest drivers, as it may well disrupt not only the aftermarket, but also transportation systems, consumers and others in significant ways.”

Insights Expose Opportunities
“The primary purpose of ETI’s white paper was to provide insights found nowhere else in a nice summary format,” Johnson shared. “With this valuable white paper, executives can decide how their companies are impacted and take appropriate steps to be ready for the inevitable future outlined in this document.” He then briefly reviewed each of the 13 component/system areas, and shared a number of insights and opportunities the members of workgroup identified. Here are a few of them/

Of all of the different systems/components explored in the white paper, the workgroup believes that software and telematics could have the greatest long-term impact on the automotive aftermarket. The total value of software and electronics in automotive applications is expected to reach 60 percent of the total vehicle value by 2020, which is up from 23 percent in 2000.

 Software, Electronics and Telematics — Automakers are closing the gap with aftermarket tech firms that had established an early lead in certain critical areas, such as centerstack infotainment software (e.g. Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto) and cybersecurity (e.g. Argus Cybersecurity). “Just three years ago, GM had 60 engineers working on cybersecurity; today, more than 160 engineers are employed in this area alone,” shared Bob Stewart, manager of aftermarket service support for General Motors.


Expect ADAS to also continue advancing through 2025, transitioning into fully autonomous vehicles. To date however, the availability and completeness of OEM service information sometimes lags behind the rollout of ADAS technology.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) — ADAS currently is being integrated by OEMs in premium vehicles, and is starting to be introduced into mid-level cars. The workgroup believes ADAS will be rolled out in phases, with full functionality still three to six years out. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has incorporated the AEB system — comprised of Forward Collision Warning, Crash Imminent Braking and Dynamic Brake Support systems — into its 5-Star Safety Rating System. Automakers must include these crash avoidance technologies in order to receive the award for new vehicles.  Automakers and their suppliers need to rectify these concerns.

Market analysts expect 48Velectric architectures to grow rapidly across all vehicle segments over the next decade and beyond.

48Volt Electrical Systems — 48V architectures are enabling internal-combustion engines to become more efficient by providing more electrical power needed to run increased electrical content in vehicles. Examples include semi- or fully autonomous systems, electronic components, infotainment features and more. In addition OEM engineers expect the advent of 48-volt electrical systems to also enable new mild hybrids that achieve a 70 percent improvement in efficiency at only 30 percent of the cost of current hybrid technology.

“The most exciting component in the white paper, to me, is the emergence and proliferation of 48V systems and how they connect with most or all of the other advances,” Bielak stated. “Over the course of Martec’s secondary research, market analyst firm IHS Markit shared a couple of informative insights: (1) Expect 48V technology to make its way into one-fifth of all vehicles sold globally by 2025; and (2) More specifically, the global market for 48V mild hybrids is expected to increase ninefold between now and 2025, with a total of 14 million vehicles expected to enter the market.”

Until very recently, wiring diagrams and communication network topology schematics typically showed electronic control modules and connections. But the rapid proliferation of electronic sensors and actuators inherent to many of the technologies in the white paper is changing that. According to Bob Pattengale, Bosch’s national training manager, “Some OEMs are beginning to include the relevant sensors and actuators as well (e.g. the Cadillac Temperature Control System wiring diagram above, courtesy of Bosch and GM).” Extending this practice to other vehicle systems, such as ADAS, would help technicians make more accurate diagnoses and efficient repairs.”

It’s No Longer “Business as Usual”
“The challenges for ETI members continue to grow as vehicles become increasingly complex and harder to service,” concluded Potter. “Consequently, fostering the ongoing partnership between OEMs, tool/equipment/information providers and independent service/repair facilities is more important than ever. It is vitally important that all in the vehicle service/repair value chain understand these new and emerging technologies, as well as how they will impact the industry.”

“The overriding insight from the white paper that sticks in my mind after participating in developing this white paper is the effort needed to train technicians working in dealerships and aftermarket facilities to be able to efficiently and accurately service and repair next generation vehicles. From making sure we have appropriate diagnostic and hand tools to diagnose and service these new technologies to making sure repair information is available, this is a challenge that will continue to grow as even newer technology finds its way into vehicles.”

“The white paper will soon be available to ETI members wishing to view details about the findings and the components in full,” Korosec advised. “An email will be sent to ETI members with instructions on how to access it.”

ETI Moves the Vehicle Service Industry Forward

ToolTech 2017 showcases new technology, right-to-repair, training and trends
Contributed by Bob Chabot, ManicMedia LLC

Equipment and Tool Institute’s (ETI) 2017 ToolTech event in New Orleans brought together all segments of the automobile industry — from the OEMs who build vehicles to the shops and technicians who service and repair them. The annual conference, open to all industry segments, presented many emerging technologies and their implications. In particular, the discussions of the issues, concerns and “need-to-knows” inherent to those trends provided attendees many useful insights.

ToolTech Blends an Engaging Mix of Social and Networking Opportunities
The social highlight of ToolTech 2017 was an authentic New Orleans second line parade that involved all of the 150+ attendees. Planned and executed by ETI Marketing and Events Manager Jessie Korosec, it began with evening libations in the main hotel lobby, where a genuine New Orleans jazz band entertained us and then led the group on a meandering musical march through the French Quarter to the opening reception venue. If mirth and merriment are any indicators, the parade was a hit with all.

On the business networking side, in addition to the annual business meeting that leads off ToolTech, there were two 4-hour blocks set aside for private one-on-one meetings between ETI members and OEM’s, National Accounts, Franchisors, and other ETI member companies to explore  business opportunities. These were scheduled by ETI to ensure that attendees are able to maximize their networking opportunities. When the business concluded each day the free evenings left plenty of time and daylight to explore, enjoy dinner with friends or associates, and stroll the ambience, sights and sounds of the Quarter.

“This year’s ToolTech turnout was phenomenal.  We had a great mix of attendees – ETI Members, OEM personnel, representatives from National Accounts, Franchisors, Distributors, other Industry Associations, and Aftermarket Leaders.  The Speaker Sessions were very topical and informative and we were pleased to get such a high caliber of professionals to share their knowledge and insights with our attendees.  We strive to make sure ToolTech remains a ‘must attend’ industry event.  Judging from the feedback I received form the attendees and speakers, the conference was a huge success,” said Jessie Korosec, ETI Marketing and Events Manager.


ToolTech’s annual Company Spotlight offered an engaging blend of business and social networking that stands out from trade expositions at other automotive industry events.



In the opening annual business meeting, Greg Potter, ETI Executive Manager updated attendees regarding membership, finances and current efforts by ETI to liaise with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the International Standards Organization (ISO), federal government agencies and others to move the automobile industry forward. These included the U.S. Department of Commerce’s initiative to strengthen vehicle underdash OBD ports, activity with the newly formed SAE Data Link Connector Vehicle Security Committee, ongoing efforts with the ISO’s Extended Vehicle Workgroups, as well as ongoing discussions centered on cybersecurity, telematics, connected and automated driving.

“Current ETI membership stands at 101 companies and membership equity remains healthy,” Potter reported. “While the focus of ToolTech 2017 is on trends driving the industry, emerging technologies, cybersecurity initiatives, training and vehicle serviceability issues affecting ETI members and their customers, ETI must also be forward-thinking. To that end, in February this year, the ETI Board worked through a facilitated strategic planning process to keep us focused on the needs of our members. This is just a first step in a continuing evolution process that helped us to re-confirm most of our current beliefs and realize some new opportunities. The process helped us develop a strategy map ETI can refer to when assessing progress towards desired goals and opportunities.”

The ETI Board strategic planning process conducted earlier this year resulted in a strategy map that identifies three major areas of focus for 2018 — membership engagement, OEM engagement and data information access. Look for future coverage of these topics in the News Section on the ETI website.”


In addition to Potter’s update, ETI Technical Manager Rick Matz provided a summary of back office activities. These included preparing to launch the new Tek-Net library; managing the release for the SAE J1939-84 J1939 and IUMPR test software software; chasing down missing data from OEMs; as well as working on new Vertical Chair position descriptions, improving communication with members and identifying and developing new member consultations, such as a Tek-Net demonstration.

ETI Marketing and Events Manager Jessie Korosec advised members of the results of the 2016 ETI Member Survey, which was sent out to 477 active ETI members. A total of 35 completed surveys, a 7.4% response rate. She then asked ToolTech attendees for feedback to three important questions ETI is seeking input for:

  • What do you need more information about?  And how do you like to receive it?
  • What information or services do you want /need from ETI?  What is important to you?
  • What other general questions regarding ETI and our Marketing efforts would you like information about?

Several members provided immediate feedback and discussion topics. “Others with input or ideas are welcome to contact me directly by phone or email at the ETI office,” said Korosec.  “You get out of ETI what you put into it,” she told the ETI Members.  “This is your association and we rely on your input to gauge your level of satisfaction and your participation to make sure you are getting the membership experience that is meaningful and beneficial to you and your company.”

Korosec then introduced, Charles Marshall, the keynote speaker for ToolTech 2017. With emergent technologies, associated concerns and opportunities ready for the taking, Marshall inspirational and motivating presentation was titled The Seven Powers of Success. “Leveraging your powers within is the key to reaching successful planned outcomes,” he asserted.

Marshall used automobile analogies to describe — with humor and personal experiences and anecdotes — how we can individually and collaboratively recognize and harness personal powers to drive toward our desired outcomes. “It begins with being able to see the end from the beginning. It’s also important to invest in the peoples’ lives around you — associates, employees, partners, etc. — because you’re unlikely to succeed just on your own. And know this: Your words, promises, commitment and support for others matter. They’re all that stand in the way of success.” Doesn’t that sounds a lot like the spirit of ToolTech?


“We’re at a unique crossroads,” shared new ETI President Brian Herron, “On one hand, we’re connecting the car to the internet; on the other, we’re automating driving.


ETI White Paper Sheds Light on Emerging Technologies Service Implications
“Technology is getting to the point you soon won’t be able to change a door handle without a scan tool,” shared new ETI President Brian Herron, of Drew Technologies Inc. “As a result of growing complexity, ETI member companies that used to just sell tools or equipment are now selling products with added services. It’s just one way our members keep making it possible for the customers we serve to thrive.”

“The findings of our Automotive Components White Paper affirm that the adoption of telematics, connectivity, automated driving and associated onboard technologies have traction that will soon drive them into service facilities, but the time to begin preparing is now,” noted ETI Past President and Marketing Committee member Ben Johnson, of Mitchell 1. “With technology now running faster than the industry, ETI is critical to both the serviceability and manufacture of automobiles,” he noted. “Our close working relationships with automakers, suppliers and the service/repair aftermarket allow ETI working on things other people and organizations cannot do. That’s the unique value we provide.”

“For example, the explosion of electronics and telematics in vehicles has shortened the time horizon to seeing these technologies in service bays. The white paper analyzed emerging technologies with specific reference to how service/repair facilities would be impacted. That’s information shops and technicians need to prepare and be service-ready.”


“We are at a critical stage of implementation for Right-to-Repair this year, as MY2018 vehicles must be compliant with the Massachusetts Memorandum of Understanding,” shared Brian Herron, ETI President. ToolTech 2017 provided three distinct perspectives on R2R compliance for MY2018 vehicles — from automaker, aftermarket and heavy-duty manufacturer representatives.


Right-to-Repair (R2R) Reaches an Important Compliance Juncture in MY2018
“As of MY2018, all vehicles and resources, with the exception of ‘recall’ tools, must be compliant with the Massachusetts Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” explained Brian Herron, ETI President. He briefly recapped the history of Right-to-Repair, before introducing three separate speaker sessions (OEM Panel, Aftermarket View of  R2R and Heavy Duty Update), which provided updates and views. “For service and repair professionals this means OEM diagnostic systems must be made available to anyone for a reasonable price, at the same ‘content level’ dealerships have, using a “Pass-Thru” interface such as J2534, RP1210, or ISO22900.”

Specifically the MOU requires:

  • OEM diagnostic systems be made available to anyone for a reasonable price, at the same ‘content level’ dealerships have, using a “Pass-Thru” interface such as J2534, RP1210, or ISO22900.
  • Scan tool data be made available via a license.
  • Pass-through reprogramming be made available through a standardized interface, such as interface such as J2534, RP1210, or ISO22900 devices.
  • Vehicle immobilizer programming all be made available

“Having seven automakers represented on the OEM panel was significant,” noted Herron,” who moderated the automaker panel. “Each showed how they had complied with each MoU requirement and also provided attendees with access details for information and training resources.”

Ken DeGrant, of Drew Technologies, presented on the Heavy Duty Right to Repair Status Update. “We are at a critical stage for the implementation of R2R MoUs for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles this year.” Medium-duty OEMs are nearly all complaint, but heavy-duty OEMs still have a long way to go to be compliant by this year’s deadline.”

“Right-to-repair originally was about hardware, but now it’s about software and other issues,” shared Bob Augustine, training director for Christian Brothers Automotive, an aftermarket multishop firm. “Just imagine if the MoU hadn’t been reached.”

“Currently, there are two R2R issues of concern to the aftermarket on the light-duty,” advised Aaron Lowe, Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Auto Care Association, who provided the aftermarket’s R2R perspective. “One is a lack of VIN-specific ‘as built’ data and adequate service and programming information for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in vehicles already being sold. Both are critical to providing a complete and efficient service/repair. Cybersecurity is the other issue. It’s now everybody’s business, so automakers and the aftermarket must work together if customers are going to be as fully protected as possible.”

Developed with input from all industry segments, NASTF’s Road to Great Technicians Roadmap aims to (1) Promote current successful industry programs; (2) Develop effective apprentice/intern standards; (3) Establish and track industry-recognized career credentials; and (4) Ensure relevant ongoing continuing education is available to the service/repair industry. (Image — NASTF)

Training Needs to Step Up
“Exploding technology is creating service gaps that training isn’t keeping pace with.” Explained Rob Morrell of WORLDPAC. “It’s no accident that the same OEMs helping with keeping aftermarket training current are the same ones whose cars are being fixed. Those OEMs that don’t are not helping technicians, shops or consumers’ brand experience.”

“The automobile industry’s training model is about 75 years old, but it’s been broken for about 70 of them,” advised Chris Chesney, senior director for CARQUEST Technical Institute’s Customer Training. “Our focus must be on how do we get technicians ready and capable to work on any vehicle. It’s essential that training begin moving toward being system-specific, rather than vehicle-specific. This is a strategy we are currently implementing.”

“Aftermarket training can be a haphazard exercise, which is a problem the industry needs to address,” added Augustine. “Too often, the training delivered doesn’t align with the training needed and expected. For technicians and shop owners, it’s like navigating a maze. Given the high costs involved to attend training events, it’s no wonder some shops focus training on the few major brands they see regularly, and outsource the rest. It’s no longer sufficient to attend an aftermarket training event and walk away with a few ah-has. At the rate technology is growing, that’s not closing the service gap.

“Automotive service and repair suffers from an image and perception problem,” suggested Mark Saxonberg, chairperson of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) and the principal of Saxonberg Consulting Services. “When young people are attracted to and enter this industry, there’s nothing wrong with painting a picture right up front that shows them and their parents the possible careers with clear, achievable pathways towards them,” “Working with all segments of the industry, NASTF has developed a readily-understood career roadmap that is based on designing effective education and career development programs, rather than leaving them to chance or randomness.”

Summing Up: The Way Forward
“The effects of emerging technologies on the aftermarket concern the members of ETI,’ Potter summarized. “Several issues will be prominent this year.”

“One will be servicing ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). How to calibrate and program these systems is already proving to be very challenging in the aftermarket, as is the cost of tools necessary to provide complete ADAS service. The pre- and post-repair scan procedures required by automakers today is the beginning of an industry sea change that the proper service and repair of ADAS technologies will continue.”

Several examples of vehicles equipped with ADAS systems were cited (from Audi/VW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and others) that require a programming reset, such as after a wheel alignment, replacement of windshields or certain other parts. In addition, to illustrate the substantial investment in new tools and equipment require, the Audi Q7 requires an $18,000 investment to properly service onboard ADAS technology.”

“Vehicle communications will also continue to be at the forefront,” Potter continued. “It’s important to keep in mind that whatever solution prevails for remote access to in-vehicle networks, as well as direct-wired connections for enhanced diagnostics and reprogramming, the new methods will include some sort of authentication, authorization, secure session establishment and rights management.”

“We must also continue to be aware of cybersecurity,” Potter concluded. “For example, the anti-hacking and the other security protection systems that OE’s are implementing may hinder aftermarket tool development. Case-in-point: As OEMs increase their security measures, it may become much harder for legitimate aftermarket scan tool companies to develop, test and produce their own diagnostic software.”

“Other aftermarket segments will also be impacted. Expect emerging technologies and the requirements to properly service them to continue to put technicians and shops under increasingly intense expectations. To address this, better industry collaboration and outreach is essential, which will continue to be a primary ETI focus going forward.”

ETI’s ToolTech 2018 will be held May 1-3, 2018 at Lowe’s Ventana Canyon in Tucson, AZ.

The Cybersecurity Challenge: Defending Proactively, in Real Time

Contributed by Bob Chabot

In the days before automobiles were connected to the outside world, there were a lot of very good reasons for a critical systems to be built on a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. But times have changed. In today’s world of telematics, connected cars, automated driving and intelligent transportation systems, components the CAN bus has traditionally deemed trustworthy — such as an OBD2 interface, plug-in dongles, infotainment stacks and even diagnostic tools — have become gateways to hacking critical systems. That’s problematic.  (Image — National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

For the first time in history, more automobiles than phones were connected to cell service in 2016, according to a study by the BearingPoint Institute. Ironically, the study noted a startling awareness gap: 4 in 10 respondents were unaware their vehicles already had connectivity features on board. (Image — Bearing Point Institute)

Spiraling Complexity is the Worst Enemy of Security
“The world is becoming more and more connected as automobiles are simultaneously becoming smarter,” noted Ofer Ben-Noon, CEO and co-founder of Argus Cyber Security, a leading security firm founded in 2013 by former Israeli Defense Force officers. “But these technological advances have substantially increased the number of attack vectors and the risk of vehicles being hacked.”

“Connected cars are without doubt one the automotive industry’s biggest driver for enhanced passenger safety, better driving experience and additional revenue generation,” added Yoni Heilbronn, vice president of Marketing for Argus. “But connectivity, despite its tremendous benefits, can also be a gateway for hacking,” shared Yoni Heilbronn, vice president of Marketing at Argus Cyber Security.

“As OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers race to make vehicles cyber resilient, more and more aftermarket connectivity options continue to be presented to drivers of current and future vehicles, he continued. “Unfortunately, most are provided with little or limited security protection for the vehicles they are placed in. It’s like trying to catch a runaway train.”

CAN-Bus, OBD2 and Other Architectures Don’t Meet Modern Challenges
Many of the original standards followed to design core communication and network systems in automobiles are now unfit for risk-free use in modern and emerging highly connected vehicles. OEMs are now recognizing this and considering fundamental architectural changes to protect automobiles already on the road, as well as those entering the marketplace.

Companies in other industries are hacked all the time. Sometimes, the details of the successful attack don’t emerge until months or years after the fact. But with automobiles, that’s not good enough. We need to know immediately when a vehicle(s) has been compromised and be able to revert affected vehicles to some form of safe mode until remedied.

“It’s important to put the right cybersecurity mechanisms and protocols in place during the initial design stage, such as firewalls and connectivity protocols that can instantly detect an attack and, where necessary, revert vehicles to a base level “safe” mode until the threat is addressed,” Ben-Noon cautioned. “For example, if and when a wide-ranging denial-of-service (DNS) hacking attack is successful, connectivity to the vehicle may be interrupted. The industry needs to ensure that in such event, automobiles can still function safely, so that drivers, passengers and pedestrians are protected.”

Connectivity in current and emerging vehicle systems has increased the surface area and attack vectors for hackers. (Image — Argus Cyber Security)

While Security Must Be Affordable, Responsibility Doesn’t Fall to OEMs Alone
The experience of major tech companies (such as Microsoft, Apple, Google) can help show OEMs the way. These and other tech firms typically request customer failure reports — known as digital error-logging — when their operating systems crash. This practice could help lead automotive engineers to a malfunction’s root cause(s), whether from design defects, human error or deliberate attacks.

Had the error-logging practice had been in place, automakers could have been alerted sooner about white-hat hacking of vehicle vulnerabilities in recent years — when they occurred, rather than well after the fact when the attacks hit the news cycle. More importantly, OEMs would also have been able to address them sooner, via over-the-air software updates or some other fix.

As attendees at the Equipment and Tool Institute’s annual ToolTech event have witnessed, OEMs were slow off the mark to recognize and act on the need to address and build in security from the design stage on. But they’ve seriously ramped up efforts in recent years. For instance, General Motors representative Bob Stewart reported a few years that GM had 60 engineers working on cybersecurity. Today, GM has more than 160 engineers doing this. Cybersecurity has become big business.

The time lag gave opportunity for third-party specialists, such as Argus, to fill the gaps. “Argus is the world’s largest, independent automotive cyber security company,” explained Monique Lance, Argus marketing director. “We currently work with many OEMs, Tier 1s, aftermarket connectivity providers, fleet managers and service providers to protect connected cars and commercial vehicles from hacking.

“To reduce risk in current and emerging vehicle systems, where the surface area for hacks is large, Argus works with OEMs on their next generation vehicles to ensure logical security is embedded rather than bolted on,” added Heilbronn. “As soon as an OEM has a concept for a vehicle, Argus escorts them through their architecture, code reviews, penetration testing, vulnerability analysis and risk assessment to ensure security is embedded in every stage or production.”

Automakers, Tier 1 suppliers, regulatory bodies, insurance companies, technology companies, telecommunications providers, other connected organizations and consumers have recently begun to share the responsibility to strengthening the industry’s cybersecurity posture by collaborating in the newly formed Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC). The organization recently published Automotive Cybersecurity Best Practices, a guideline for integrating cyber security into the vehicle’s entire lifecycle — from concept through production, servicing and decommission.

Cyberdefense Requires a Multilayered Approach
Security experts commonly accept the adage that security isn’t always backwards composable. This means if two components are proven to be secure individually, their security when combined isn’t guaranteed. “Automakers, whether they go it alone or work with a third party, which distinct characteristics can be made composable and which cannot,” Ben-Noon explained. “In addition, all of the rhetoric around the benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will be undermined if consumers have reason and real world experiences to not have trust in their vehicle’s security.”

Consider, for a moment, the differences between the cybersecurity in the aerospace and automobile industries. Aircraft system security is far more extreme, robust and costly, given the inherent risks, than ground transportation. This is due to airplanes having multiple levels of redundancy to combat hardware failures, software errors and prevent hacks. For example, each Airbus plane currently has five built-in parallel computer systems onboard, each developed by different software authors.

Clearly, automakers can’t afford five levels, but in time as costs can be spread over more technologies and vehicles, they might be able afford a twin parallel system — for instance, one that would communicate with the external environment while the other communicated with the internal environment. In this scenario, both systems would have to behave predictably for the vehicle to consider itself safe, which would be a step in the right direction.

Case-in-Point:  Hacking the Dongle
“At its core, Argus is dedicated to ensuring that vehicles are cyber-safe and our ongoing collaboration with global Tier 1 suppliers and car manufacturers enables us to provide the most advanced cyber security solutions for the automotive industry,” shared Yaron Galula, the other co-founder of Argus. “Here’s what we’ve learned: Solutions based on cryptography and communication protocols, even when designed by leaders in the industry, are not foolproof. Cybersecurity must go above and beyond those measures. Multi-layered defenses are required to effectively protect vehicles from cyber threats today and in the future.”

Galula cited the most recent example of Argus working with industry partners — in this case, Argus’ April 2017 discovery of security vulnerabilities in (1) Robert Bosch GmbH’s Drivelog Connector OBD-II dongle (which monitors vehicle health and, in case service is needed, directs the driver to one of the workshops or dealerships in the Drivelog program; and (2) The authentication process in its associated Drivelog Connect smartphone app (which connects to the dongle via Bluetooth and enables the driver to review vehicle health, track trip data and more).


Argus Cyber Security says the security equation is very simple: “If it’s a computer and it connects to the outside world, then it is hackable. Cyberdefense cannot be static; they must be dynamic, that is, continually evolving.” (Image — Robert Bosch GmbH)


“Essentially, our Bluetooth attack brute forced the PIN for the dongle. We used the dongle as the attack vector to inject malicious CAN messages — which fit the constraints of both the dongle and the vehicle — into the vehicle CAN bus, to then manipulate other ECUs on the network. This allowed us to turn off the engine while the vehicle was moving within Bluetooth range.” [Editor’s note: For more details of the attack, click here.]

When Argus reported the successful attack to Bosch, the Tier 1 supplier’s Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) took decisive and immediate action to address the vulnerabilities across its security and development divisions. “Bosch takes security very seriously,” said Thorsten Kuhles, head of the Bosch’s PSIRT. “When Argus informed us about the security gaps, we took immediate action to verify the vulnerability, address them across our security and development divisions, and fix the issues.”

“First, we immediately activated a two-step verification for additional users to be registered to a device. This measure was implemented on the server, and required no action by users. In addition, to further increase security in the authentication process, an application and dongle firmware update will also be released that will further limit the allowed commands that the dongle is able to place onto the CAN bus. Finally, PSIRT is working on measures to further limit the possibility to send unwanted CAN messages, which will be rolled out alongside further improvements later in 2017.”

Cyber Threats are Constantly Evolving
“The security equation is very simple: If it’s a computer and it connects to the outside world, then it is hackable,” emphasized Heilbronn. “This includes electronic tools and equipment, plugin onboard diagnostics, insurance or other connected devices. Who knows whether they rely on insecure wireless connections? In addition, these accessories are beyond the control and responsibility of automakers.

“What’s complex is developing, implementing and updating cybersecurity defenses, he emphasized. “Currently, many OEMs are increasingly isolating the computers and modules that control the vehicle’s most sensitive systems, hoping they won’t be breached. Yet, hackers can do just that, by tapping into other technologies onboard vehicles, as we just did with the Bosch dongle. But devices aren’t the only risk. Vehicle infotainment systems as also very vulnerable to attack because they’re so highly connected to the outside world via connections to cellular networks, Bluetooth, WiFi and others. It’s clear to us that automakers and suppliers really have no idea what’s going on at all times, nor can they yet readily determine if and when these systems have been hacked or not.”

“Another challenge facing automakers is how to update security software, once it has been installed, over the lifetime of the vehicle. Upgrading a vehicle’s security software through downloads — much as you would update the software on a smartphone — has only recently become feasible for OEMs. But nonetheless, automakers and their partners have to build cybersecurity protections into the vehicle before it ever hits the road, and continually update them as new threats emerge.

Connectivity has arrived. It’s no longer a pipe dream of futurists. By 2020, virtually all vehicles will come with embedded, tethered or smartphone enabled connectivity. Ongoing white hat hacks — both hard-wired and wireless — of both passenger cars and commercial vehicles have proven the ever-present danger of complacency or being behind the cybersecurity curve. Automakers, suppliers, the aftermarket, regulators and legislators will need to work together to protect motorists and the public. But these stakeholders will also need to understand when to lead, follow and stay out of the way of those getting the job done.

Equipment and Tool Institute Announces 2016-2017 Officers and New Directors

ETI congratulates the new Officers and Board Members on their election to office for 2016-2017

Officers (one year term)
President – Bob Holland (Chief Automotive Technologies)
Vice President, Programs – Brian Herron (Drew Technologies)
Vice President, Marketing – Jim Fish (Bosch Automotive Service Solutions)
Secretary/Treasurer – Kevin FitzPatrick
Immediate Past President – Tim Morgan (Spanesi Americas Inc.)


The Equipment and Tool Institute announces the line up of Industry Leaders for the Heavy Duty Discussion Group at ToolTech 2016

TT BannerDon’t miss out on your opportunity for communication and collaboration during the Heavy Duty Discussion Group.  

If you’re looking for timely and relevant industry information to incorporate into your business goals and objectives, then check out this Discussion Group. Join your colleagues and other industry professionals for an in-depth discussion on issues and information on the Heavy Duty Industry and the Memorandum of Understanding that will affect the automotive aftermarket tool and equipment segment.


Telematics Update Cyber Security Conference 2016


Light through keyholeThe Telematics Update 2016 Cyber Security Conference took place on March 29-30, 2016 at the Baronette Renaissance Hotel in Novi MI.

There were about 200 attendees drawing from the OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, DOT, TSA, DHS, NHSTA, security researchers and other vendors in the automotive supply chain. There are plenty of 3rd parties present which could evaluate your products’ vulnerabilities and make recommendations to better their security.

There were five exhibitors: Argus Cyber Security, JDM Systems Consultants, Symantec, VisualThreat and WardsAuto.

The highest profile speaker was US Senator Gary Peters (MI), who wanted to emphasize that the government would like to see this industry devise and implement solutions to the looming threats of cyberattacks and not have to write regulations.


The Equipment and Tool Institute Hires Rick Matz as Technical Manager

Rick Matz smThe Equipment and Tool Institute today announced Rick Matz has joined the organization as the Technical Manager. Matz will help manage the ETI TEK-NET Library, including helping member companies understand the library and the data in it and seek information from OEMs when it is determined that the information the member companies need to design and build their tools is missing.

Matz will also be responsible for developing and gathering technical information and articles for the Institute’s publications; coordinating the meeting activities of Vertical Groups and the Technical Committee; representing ETI in its cooperative efforts with other trade associations; and serving as the ETI representative and attending key SAE and ISO committee meetings that affect tool and equipment design and manufacturing.


Beyond J2534 v5.00 — Forces to be Reckoned With: Ethernet, OTA updates, ITS, secure interfaces and encryption mechanisms emerge

Contributed by Bob Chabot, ManicMedia LLC

Art2_Fig9_GregPotterThis is the second of a two-part interview with Greg Potter, the Equipment and Tool Institute’s (ETI) Executive Manager, in which he shares some of the key impressions and information he’s gathered while representing ETI at several leading automotive and related industry events in the past few months. This installment continues the “question and answer” format used in Part 1, but the focus shifts from J2534 version 5.00 to new inbound technologies that are poised to change how vehicles communicate and ultimately how they are serviced. (more…)