Mercedes-Benz Adds Augmented Reality to Techs’ Toolkit

Last week, Ward Auto released an article discussing Augmented Reality smart glasses deployed by Mercedes-Benz. Prior to the pandemic, the glasses were in the pilot phase, however, COVID-19 was a catalyst for development.

The technology allows experts to help identify and solve complex issues remotely, via viewing what the technician is seeing in real time. Documents and images can also be displayed in the technician’s field of vision via the glasses. The program, Virtual Remote Support, was recently distributed to all 383 Mercedes-Benz USA dealerships, following an initial pilot program in January that began at 13 dealerships before COVID-19 interrupted business travel.

Christian Treiber, Vice President of customer service at Mercedes-Benz USA, is quoted to have said that COVID-19 accelerated the need to release the technology, as it now enables field specialists to provide support from and to any location. The user benefit also involves a more rapid turnaround on complicated service issues that would usually inconvenience the customer, add to dealership costs, and take up important service department space.

Further key advantages of the smart glasses include:

  • Reduction in time and expense devoted to travel
  • Reduction in potential exposure to COVID-19
  • Greater customer satisfaction, leading to greater customer loyalty
  • Success rate heading towards 60%

Another company that has employed AR glasses is Porsche, via their program Tech Live Look; they use smart glasses from Osterhout Design Group in addition to AREA member Atheer’s AiR Enterprise. According to Porsche, their system can reduce resolution time up to 40%.

The article concludes with another quote from Treiber, stating that issues can now be resolved in minutes or hours rather than days as a result of the combined Microsoft HoloLens 2 glasses and Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist system.

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