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Automotive Tech ready to keep up with big industry changes

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there will be 32,000 new jobs per year over the next 10 years in the automotive service industry. These jobs will be state-of-the-art, intellectually challenging and require extensive education and training in automotive electronics.

Howard French, assistant professor and manager of the Automotive Technology Program at Austin Peay State University, says the University recently purchased electronic training equipment and simulators to prepare students for the upcoming changes.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there will be 32,000 new jobs per year over the next 10 years in the automotive service industry. These jobs will be state-of-the-art, intellectually challenging and require extensive education and training in automotive electronics.

Howard French, assistant professor and manager of the Automotive Technology Program at Austin Peay State University, says the University recently purchased electronic training equipment and simulators to prepare students for the upcoming changes.

“By model year 2008, at least two new computerized controls will be in place on all automobiles and light trucks sold in the U.S.,” says French. “Automotive technicians need to stay abreast of these changes in order to diagnose and service the many electronic systems.”

Changes will include the mandatory introduction of the tire pressure monitoring system, which until recently was installed only in high-performance automobiles. “All automobiles will be required to have this system in place,” says French. “It's a computer-monitored system, so the simple task of rotating the tires will require specialized electronic equipment to ensure the system operates as intended.”

In addition, the automobile engine control computer will be enhanced by model year 2008. The enhanced system, or Controlled Area Network (CAN), will include multiplexing among the various system computers and other enhanced capabilities.

French says APSU is prepared to help automotive technicians meet the challenges of the new technology. “Our program has procured the most modern equipment available,” he says. “We've even purchased electronic simulators to offer hands-on training to supplement the classroom lectures.”

For further comments or information, telephone French at (931) 221-1414, or e-mail FrenchH@apsu.edu.
—Rebecca Mackey