By Sherief Ibrahim, General Manager, Business Applications at Microsoft Canada
Built with more than 100 million lines of software code, the modern Mercedes-Benz vehicle has more code than the Space Shuttle, an F-35 fighter jet and a pacemaker combined. This transformative innovation enhances the customer driving experience but it also increases the complexity of the vehicles, which require sophisticated technical precision and maintenance. To empower frontline technicians to provide industry-leading customer service, Mercedes-Benz Canada deployed the first-ever mixed reality automotive maintenance system in Canada: the Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, powered by Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.
Our collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Canada demonstrates how transformative technology is empowering frontline workers. In this tech-intense world where advanced technology is embedded in everything we do, every company is a tech company and every job requires digital skilling. 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. Tools like Dynamic 365 Guides provide step-by-step visual instructions to accelerate on-the-job learning and offer skill-building initiatives that target specific gaps within a workforce.
How it works
While wearing a HoloLens 2, Microsoft’s untethered, self-contained holographic device, a dealership service technician can work handsfree to inspect a vehicle. Whether they are making a decision about body repair or working to solve more complex situations that require a collaborative diagnostic plan, 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.
Working together in a mixed reality environment, the remote expert using Microsoft Teams can see exactly what the technician is seeing at the dealership. In this immersive environment, they can share intricate 3D images and holograms, see where changes need to be made, annotate the visual information, add documents and insert instructions to highlight areas of focus. 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 specialized expertise.
Fueling the fastest and most precise vehicle servicing
This groundbreaking technology will redefine automotive maintenance and service technician training, leading to faster and more precise vehicle servicing for customers and dealers across the country. According to Nikhil Ondhia, Vice President, Customer Services, Mercedes-Benz Canada, this technology represents a paradigm shift in the automotive industry.
Since launching the technology in July 2021 across their entire national network of dealerships, the Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support is reducing servicing time and costs, freeing up service bay space and most importantly, getting drivers back on the road. The use of remote assistance is also decreasing the environmental footprint of technical specialists – who previously physically travelled to dealerships across the country – without eliminating the important collaboration between technical experts.
For more information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, please visit: https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-ca/mixed-reality/remote-assist/