Car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has deployed a mixed reality automotive maintenance system – Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support – using Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to enable frontline employees to better serve customers.
According to Sherief Ibrahim, general manager of business applications at Microsoft Canada, modern Mercedes-Benz vehicles have “more code than the Space Shuttle, an F-35 fighter jet and a pacemaker combined”. This provides an enhanced experience for drivers but requires more sophisticated technical maintenance.
Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz collaborated to deliver the automotive maintenance system, as part of the increasing need for on-the-job training in technical skills.
“Occupations that have not traditionally been considered ‘tech’, like automotive maintenance, are increasingly becoming digital and tools like mixed reality and remote assist not only offer real-time support from technical specialists, they enable frontline workers to gain new technical skills by training on the job,” said Ibrahim. “Tools like Dynamic 365 Guides provide step-by-step visual instructions that offer skill-building initiatives that target specific gaps within a workforce.”
By wearing a HoloLens 2 headset, technicians can work handsfree to inspect a vehicle. “Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support enables technicians at the dealerships to troubleshoot a problem in real-time by tapping into the company’s vast ecosystem of remote experts,” said Ibrahim.
These technicians can then collaborate with remote experts via Microsoft Teams to share images and holograms, making it easier to identify where changes need to be made, annotate the visual information and insert instructions. “This invaluable insight and technological guidance helps complete complex maintenance issues in record time and the remote specialists from around the world don’t need to leave their office to lend their specialised expertise,” said Ibrahim.
Since launching the technology in July 202, Mercedes-Benz has been able to reduce servicing time and costs and decrease the environmental footprint of technical specialists, who previously travelled to dealerships to carry out the same tasks.