With Porsche’s Field Experts Idled, AR Glasses Take Their Place
Article by Liane Yvkoff for Forbes detailing Porsche’s Tech Live Look smart glasses built using a platform by Atheer, AREA member.
There are some problems that stump even expert Porsche mechanics. Maybe it’s a rarely seen warning light indicating an obscure sensor fault or difficulty isolating a noise. To resolve these hard-to-fix issues, Porsche employs a team of 11 field technical managers in North America that are dispatched to work directly with dealerships on-site.
Covid-19 has sidelined these experts for now, but transportation is critical during a pandemic, and fixing cars is often a problem that can’t wait. That’s where Porsche’s “Tech Live Look” glasses come in. The Tech Live Look is built using a platform by Atheer.
Tech Live Look are smartglasses that use augmented reality to project images or instructions onto the surfaces of the lenses. They’re worn by the dealerships’ mechanics while they’re working on complicated repairs that require assistance from the German brand’s in-house technicians, and connect them with these remote groups. In many instances they’ve replaced the lengthy phone conversations they used to have with technicians, and have shortened repair times by 40%, the company says.
“It accelerates the service on the vehicle and, most importantly, helps ensure customers’ mobility at a critical time.” Doug House, Technical Support Manager for Porsche Cars North America.
The company announced the program in 2017, and completed its nation-wide rollout earlier this year. The timing couldn’t have been better. With the field experts unable to visit dealerships in person, the number of TLL sessions has more than tripled from February to March and is being used once per day on average. The trend has continued into April.
Rather than taking photos and sending them over email, the smartglasses use real-time video to enable the tech team at headquarters to see what the mechanics sees from hundred of miles away. Screenshots, technical bulletins, and directions can be sent to the mechanics that they can view while they’re working on the car.
Dealership technicians have been able to work directly with Porsche’s support team at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta and also with experts in Germany for more complex vehicle investigation.