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Seeing into the Future

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I generated the above image through Midjourney, an image-creation program powered by artificial intelligence. A user gives the program a text prompt, and within less than a minute you have a stylized image based on what the AI thinks you want. 

In this case, I fed the computer a prompt of “getting an oil change.” The artificial intelligence didn’t do a terrible job—you can see the basic contours of the inside of a shop bay, the bay doors, some supply lines, and what appears to be a technician working on a large shape that could be a vehicle. 

You may or may not have been aware that there are AI programs that could do this. Hopefully you’re learning about exciting new technologies through helpful publications, like this magazine. That’s why we’ve given our vehicle technology department, ADAPT, a bigger platform in NOLN. With a little more space, you will be able to read more about the broad changes to vehicle technology taking place, as well as some of the smaller details that could one day change the way you do business. 

Rest assured, the main motivation for NOLN will continue to be the reporting and sharing of useful information, strategies, and tools that you can read about and apply in your shops as soon as you finish reading an article. This month’s feature story runs through five top-level action items that you can jump into right away. We’ve also interviewed a shop manager who tells the story of a big, well-equipped operation and what makes the facility hum. 

You will also read about setting long-term professional goals, picking your shop management software, and much more. That’s our bread and butter, as they say. 

But as we get into 2023, it’s important to consider what’s out there on the horizon of exciting technology, whether it's in electrification, vehicle autonomy, or aftermarket customization, as this month’s story covers. 

The conversations around emerging vehicle technology can be a lot like that AI-generated oil change image I shared. The basic outlines are there, but it still takes some thought and consideration by a human to determine what you’re looking at. That’s the role that we hope to play for shop owners looking to refine the contours of their operations.  

Thanks for reading. Welcome to 2023! 

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