Rochelle Thielen sees the car repair industry facing a major challenge in the years to come as autonomous vehicles become a reality.

Speaking on stage at Inspirefest 2018, former CEO of collision repair estimating software firm Estify, Rochelle Thielen, spoke of the impact that the advent of “computers on wheels” will have on the automotive industry.

To get a sense of how much is changing, she said that while the current entry-level electric vehicle has approximately 10m lines of code within its systems, an autonomous vehicle would have 200m lines.

Furthermore, when the average age of someone in the repair industry is 41 years old, and 98pc are men, there is a serious lack of diverse opinion, preparation and knowledge of what is coming down the road, quite literally.

“These guys are ageing out; newer minds are not coming in because they look at this as being an old industry of fixing metal rather than a tech industry,” Thielen said.


Words by Colm Gorey