How did Car Repair 4.0 come about?

The Car Repair 4.0 success story began in September 2018 and continues with the follow-up project launched in early 2022. I n the preliminary project, part of the consortium of companies and scientists set out to shape the future of the car repair shop. Initially funded by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the European Union, the first step of the project was to develop a demonstrator system that enables machine learning-supported control chain diagnostics. With the continuation and further funding of the Car Repair 4.0 project, digitalisation in car repair shops is to be advanced further over the next three years.

What are the goals of Car Repair 4.0?

Car Repair 4.0 wants to enable more differentiated and better diagnoses by means of voltage curves recorded by oscilloscopes in the engine compartment, avoid unnecessary repairs and thus save resources in terms of sustainable maintenance. The data-based diagnostic system should also be available for older vehicles and be easy to integrate into the everyday work of car repair shops. Car Repair 4.0 wants to counteract the shortage of skilled workers in Germany and therefore attaches great importance to easy handling during error diagnosis. Performing the measurement does not require any additional qualification of the car repair shop employee and can be done with little knowledge and just a few steps.

What research approach is the funding project based on?

The background to the research approach is that error diagnosis in vehicles today still mostly occurs via proprietary diagnostic systems using the onboard diagnostics (OBD) interface. For independent car repair shops, in particular, access to these proprietary software and hardware solutions represents a high-cost hurdle in the evaluation of control units. Also, error codes detected during OBD diagnosis, so-called Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC), do not point to the cause of an error but only to the affected component in the vehicle. In practice, this often leads to the component being replaced without the real error being detected.

Which target groups does Car Repair 4.0 address, and what added value does the project offer them?

AI-supported vehicle diagnosis is not only aimed at car repair shop owners, IT service providers and diagnosis providers. Innovative technology companies from AI development, certification, data collection, processing and storage as well as associations, institutions and initiatives are also in focus.

The Car Repair 4.0 project shows SMEs, in particular, the opportunities and prospects for dealing with these requirements of the digital age – and for setting their sights on the major potential for value creation and new business models. Read here how data can be used to create added value and new market-impacting business models and improve services.

How can I participate, and what are the requirements?

You have become aware of Car Repair 4.0 via our website, social media, events, your network or other channels and would like to get involved? Read here about how to become an associated partner in just three steps.

Are there different options for an associated partnership?

Two variants are available to you for an associated partnership, which are not associated with any financial obligations and are based on voluntariness:

  • With a Letter of Intent (LOI), you sign your declaration of intent to support the project “Car Repair 4.0”. With your signature, you declare your willingness to participate in the research project.
  • By signing an association agreement, you confirm your acceptance as an associated partner and the associated rights and obligations. These go beyond those of the LOI and are binding for the cooperation partners.

Why should I become an associated partner of Car Repair 4.0?

By returning the signed Letter of Intent (LOI), the following options become available to you as an associated partner:

  • You can present yourself as an associated partner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) funding project in the trade press, to your network partners or via our website.
  • You will be added to the email distribution list: This is used for communication between the project management and all associates on the project status and progress, further steps, research results, events and initiatives within the framework of the project.
  • You have the chance to present yourself to the other project partners in a 10-20 minute pitch.
  • You can get involved through your initiatives, feedback and participation in the marketing meeting, as well as through dissemination, events or workshops and networking events.
  • You will no longer miss any news and are optimally networked with the other associated partners via LinkedIn.

By returning the signed contract of association, you have the following options as an associated contractual partner of the project consortium:

  • Participation in information events
  • Collaboration on conceptual designs
  • Formulation of requirements based on own application intentions and experiences
  • Integration of project results into own test environments and prototypes
  • Involvement in running tests
  • Critical-constructive evaluations and feedback of results
  • Support with public relations and dissemination in the sector
  • Insight into preliminary project results for commenting, testing, testing including experimental integration into systems
  • Feedback, test results, comments

What is Gaia-X and how is Car Repair 4.0 related to it?

Unlike the usual hyperscalers on the market, Gaia-X relies on an EU cloud that meets European data protection requirements, transparency and compatibility standards. This cloud infrastructure is designed to give businesses and citizens data sovereignty and independence from cloud providers. The goal of Gaia-X: The development of a European interoperable data infrastructure for secure data-based business models.

As one of a total of 16 Gaia-X-compliant use cases developed by industry, Car Repair 4.0 represents the “innovative and practical applications and data spaces in the Gaia-X Digital Ecosystem”. The use case developed at Car Repair 4.0 shows how Gaia-X can also create added value and new market-effective business models for SMEs with data.

Car repair shops, diagnostic system providers and IT service providers are to be linked via the Gaia-X ecosystem to form an innovation and value-creation network so that industry-specific data and AI models can be exchanged in a secure and trustworthy manner. For this purpose, the project takes into account various Gaia-X principles for data collection, use, utilisation and analysis. For example, underlying data standards and values such as interoperability and interconnectivity. As a result, the developed data ecosystem should also be usable for European car repair shops after the successful roll-out in Germany.