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Ready for something a little futuristic? We’ve all seen the tech in film and TV, something out of sci-fi where a ship’s engine needs to be fixed, and the crew brings up a hologram of sorts to get a 3D model of the engine and how to fix it. They’ve been saying that kind of technology is already readily available, but it’s most likely kept for military purposes and no civilian could possibly afford it. Well, it’s not for retail just yet, but the automotive technicians at Mercedes-Benz are starting to get their hands on similar tech that can help with repairs using Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, powered by HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.
What Is It?
An immersive use of technology, Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support allows technicians to work on vehicles and share real-time images and audio with Mercedes-Benz technical specialists working remotely. Being able to work on a vehicle with more than one pair of hands, or eyes, is always helpful, but in a world of COVID-19, working in close proximity to others has become challenging. With this kind of system, remote MB specialists are able to still provide valuable insight and technological guidance when it comes to completing complex maintenance tasks without ever leaving their office.
This, in turn, has many benefits. For one, it cuts down the time it takes to share information about an issue (more on that in a bit) so that technicians and specialists can discuss a problem and how to fix it with shared imagery. This leads to a faster turnaround time for repairs, now that the technicians aren’t waiting around for answers. They’re in touch with a specialist at all-times when using the HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. Aside from creating a remote work environment while still keeping collaboration between technicians and experts alive, it also reduces the need for service-related travel, cutting turnaround time down as well as environmental impact.
How Does It Work?
Glad you asked. The HoloLens 2 headset is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a headset capable of supporting intricate 3D images and holograms and displaying them to the technicians and specialists in real-time. By putting on the HoloLens 2 headset, the onsite technician wearing the headset is immediately connected with a hub where Mercedes-Benz technical specialists all over the United States are connected and ready to help to provide their support. With Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, specialists on the other end of the connection can see exactly what the technician is seeing at the dealership.
Here is where all the sci-fi stuff comes in. Usually, technicians would have to go back and forth, uploading information, asking questions, and then waiting for a response. It’s a mess. Using Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, the technician and specialist can share the aforementioned 3D images and holograms to highlight the damage and repairs that need to be made, and can then add on to and edit these with visual information, adding documents, and even insert arrows, circles, and more to better illustrate what areas need attention.
Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support has already been adopted by 383 dealerships across the U.S., and it’s just starting to spread. It’s way past the pilot program, this is a real system technicians are making use of today. What do you think of this? Sounds pretty neat. Share your thoughts on NowCar social media.