Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is trialling augmented reality in its van centres to help technicians reduce servicing time.
The company has launched a four-month pilot of RealWear glasses in 10 centres. The technology includes a microphone, head camera, display screen and voice activation functionality that provides a fully augmented video broadcast.
They allow technicians to connect directly with its technical support centre in Milton Keynes, where they will be given support throughout the diagnosis and repair of a vehicle.
If the trial is successful, the technology will be rolled out to all Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles technicians including those that work across the brand’s mobile service clinics from June next year.
Paul Anderson, service operations manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “This is an exciting step forward in maximising uptime for our customers through the use of augmented reality and remote diagnostic tools.
"Our ultimate aim is to ensure we can keep the customers’ vehicles on the road for longer and that means reducing the time it takes to repair a vehicle when it’s in the workshop.
“The new devices allow our team of technical support agents to support our network with a virtual visit which is as close as possible to the real thing – without the limitations.
"Factors such as time out of the office, speed to booking and travel time are stripped out leaving only the value of having our technical support agents virtually in the van centre to support the diagnostic process. There’s clearly an environmental benefit in this approach too.”
He added: “We believe this has future benefits beyond this application to support one-to-many coaching and providing a fast-link back to the van centre for mobile service technicians.
“The benefits to the business are also clear. Through the reduction of diagnostic times we will have a direct impact on mobility costs which takes pressure off courtesy fleets and opens up additional capacity within the Van Centre to become more productive.
"This in turn leads to a happier and more invested workforce who feel fully supported by the manufacturer which will have an impact on costly attrition rates.”