Lately it seems like autonomous vehicles are in the news every day. We constantly hear about new advancements in technology that bring this dream closer to reality – and we also hear about crashes and other malfunctions that make us worry about the driverless future. As an auto shop owner, you have additional concerns regarding how you’re going to service these new and different vehicles. Don’t worry – we’ve put together a short guide to servicing autonomous vehicles to get you prepared.



Focus on Building Trust with Your Customers



Believe it or not, the biggest hurdle you’ll have to face as autonomous vehicles surge onto the scene is consumer sentiment. Namely, you’ll have to convince consumers that your independent auto shop has the expertise to service their new high-tech autonomous vehicle as competently as the dealerships. Should this worry you? Yes, but only a little bit. You’ve been here before with hybrid vehicles and persevered, now it’s time to do it again. The key is in setting up your shop as a reputable expert in vehicle repair, not just a cheaper option once the warranty runs out. Start building relationships with your customers today that are built on trust and education. When the autonomous vehicles start cruising the streets (and breaking down), your customers will feel comfortable and confident bringing them to you.



Hire Network Specialists



Autonomous vehicles are more computer than anything else, so treat them that way! Now is the time to start training your technicians to understand and work on autonomous vehicles. Start by ensuring they are comfortable with the autonomous components of the cars that are already on the road – self-parking, lane assist, and much more. Rather than writing these components off as newfangled contraptions, get to know them piece by piece so when they’re all combined into one fully autonomous vehicle, you’re ready to care for it quickly and capably. You may also want to consider hiring an additional technician or two who specialize in network diagnostics and maintenance. They’ll be your largest moneymakers as autonomous components continue to come online.



Don’t Worry Too Much!



If this all sounds a little scary, take a deep breath – autonomous vehicles won’t be mainstream for a least another decade or so. The technology still needs improvements, regulations and traffic laws need to be updated, and consumers need to get on board with the idea of driverless cars cruising through the streets. However, just because you have time to prepare doesn’t mean you should push it off till the last minute. Focus on training your team and building relationships with your customers now so you’re ready to capitalize on the autonomous vehicle revolution when it comes. As part of those preparations, align yourself with a credit card processor who puts you first. At 360 Payments, we pride ourselves on being a true partner to the business owners we serve rather than just another vendor. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website – we’d love to show you what sets us apart from the competition.



PS – Are you using a digital vehicle inspection (DVI) tool in your shop? If not, here are some compelling reasons to start.



PPS – Guard against vehicle hacking with these six tips.