(Trail Times file photo)

(Trail Times file photo)

AI helping technicians diagnose problems

Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician in Trail

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword of our times. Your current automotive technician will be very involved in the development of AI for your vehicle’s diagnostics. All the vehicle manufacturers have some level of AI built into their diagnostic processes. Your technician is in many situations using your manufacturers most current AI system to diagnose what ails your vehicle.

The repair procedures are available from all the manufacturers. Examples of these repair procedures are how to replace your water pump (yeah, even your electric vehicle still has a water pump) or the diagnostic procedure of how to diagnose a faulty oxygen sensor. What we used to buy in a reference book is now available online.

In many cases the format of diagnostic procedures is the trouble tree. If this is true, then do that, else do the other. I think you might know what I mean. These are the lowest level AI systems. They assume we, the technician, know nothing about the system we are fixing. The problem with using that type of system is that there is typically no explanation of what exactly the thought process is. Many times the process requires a lot more dis-assembly of the vehicle to perform each successive test. It may also not even take into account the most likely scenario first.

The next most common form of AI used by manufacturers involves software combined into or with a tool that interfaces with the vehicle network. The computer and software part of the tool scans the network of the vehicle for information. From the information gleaned a guided series of tests are provided to find the fault. Again these systems hide the thought processes.

The future AI systems will see data collected from the network of the vehicle (even when the vehicle is being driven) sent to the cloud for processing and narrowing down or performing an exact diagnosis of the fault.

Thankfully tool manufacturers and information service providers create their own platforms to provide additional options to supplement your technicians arsenal of diagnostic tools. Relying only on what the manufacturer provides would be a great disservice to the customer.

Independent service information providers collect data from technicians about common symptoms and their diagnosis and repairs. When a vehicle comes in for diagnosis eliminating or chasing the most likely fault may make a lot more sense than starting at the very top of the trouble tree.

The demand for this data and the providers of this data are automotive technicians.

Independent tool manufacturers make tools that shorten or simplify a diagnostic process. They do this by invasively performing tests that can mean that instead of performing a surgery to inspect a possibly faulty part, a “cat scan” can provide a definitive answer.

The demand for these tools is fed by the technicians diagnosing the problems with your vehicles. His/her demand for tools and information to put into the diagnostic process is the future of AI. It also results in more correct cost effective diagnostics for you, the customer.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: nutechauto@telus.net

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

Montrose resident Kimba McLean has hiked Antenna Trail every day since October and counting. Photo: Jim Bailey
Montrose man makes daily trek up Antenna Trail

Kimba McLean put on more than 800-km hiking Antenna Trail every day for the past six months

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘We walk in grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

The four-day trek on foot and by ferry will see them end at the legislature

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

Thw male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
Interior Health opens up vaccine eligibility in Columbia Valley to 18 years or older

Only local residents can register and book appointments as COVID-19 case counts spike in the region

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks to return to play Sunday versus Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Most Read