BMW Introduces ‘Smart Glasses' to Assist Service Technicians at its U.S. Dealerships
【Summary】BMW unveiled an all-new Technical Information System, which when combined with a pair of augmented reality glasses, becomes an intuitive multimedia platform for advanced technical support.
Now that motor vehicles have become high-tech devices, servicing them is becoming increasingly more complicated and challenging for technicians. As the maker of some of the world's most advanced vehicles, German automaker BMW has announced a unique solution to assist technicians at its dealerships, which can reduce maintenance and service times by up to 75%.
The automaker unveiled an all-new Technical Information System (TIS 2.0), which when combined with a pair of augmented reality glasses becomes an intuitive multimedia platform for advanced technical support.
It was developed by BMW with feedback from its technicians in the field (always a good thing) and can be accessed by BMW and MINI dealership service employees. TIS 2.0 puts all of the technical data for every BMW and MINI model at every technician's fingertips.
"Vehicle technology is becoming more complex, which only highlights the need for excellent technicians," said Neal Guthrie, department head for technical service, BMW of North America. "Hiring top technicians and providing them with the best possible systems and tools with which to work, will be critical to our success."
With the remote assistance from a BMW expert, the technician working on the vehicle can collaboratively work through issues to resolve them in a faster and more efficient manner. The system is enhanced with Realwear HMT-1 Smart Glasses and Ubimax Augmented Reality Software.
Technicians working a BMW model can put on a pair of TSARAVision Smart Glasses and connect with engineers and other technical experts at BMW of North America directly via a hands-free video link. The HMT-1 Smart Glasses include a high-resolution micro display that fits just below a wearer's line of sight and views like a 7 inch tablet.
The BMW expert can project step-by-step technical bulletins and schematic drawings onto the display inside the technician's glasses as well as take screen shots and enlarge images for better visibility. The technician working on the vehicle is able to open and view documents using voice commands while working on the car.
BMW believes that this type of live remote assistance is much easier than sending electronic forms and photos or trying to explain complex technical issues over the phone.
"TIS 2.0, TSARA and the TSARAVision Smart Glasses are great examples of how we are applying new technologies to help BMW technicians work more efficiently and further our commitment to offer the best possible service experience for BMW customers," said Claus Eberhart, Vice President, Aftersales, BMW of North America. "By solving issues faster, BMW dealers can get customers back into their cars sooner."
BMW said the new technology will be in use at all 347 BMW Centers and selected MINI Dealers in the U.S. by the end of the month.
Rival automaker Porsche announced a similar system in 2017 to assist its service technicians.
In addition to improving customer service, the implementation of these new technologies will also support current and future technicians as they maintain the next generation of BMW vehicles.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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