We have already seen several automakers experiment with augmented reality (AR), mostly as a sales tool at dealerships to help customers explore different features and optional extras. Mercedes-Benz has found a completely different application of the cutting-edge technology and has begun to equip its dealerships in the US with Microsoft HoloLens 2 improve service speed and safety. Mercedes-Benz USA announced on Wednesday that it rolled out Microsoft HoloLens headsets to its 383 dealerships across the United States after a successful trial at 13 US dealerships earlier this year. The new Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support system powered by the AR headset and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist tech will help technicians to seek remote assistance in real-time from experts located thousands of miles away, ranging from field specialists in the country to engineers at Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Germany.
Although, one might think that something similar can be achieved with the use of video calls; however, using the headset will help in projecting three-dimensional images, holograms, and other annotations atop their field of view along with listening to instructions in a more seamless manner. This will help expedite and ease vehicle repairs. The technicians will also be able to work with several remote specialists at the same time if the need arises. “This is a massive shift in the way we do business and is especially timely with the new realities of COVID-19 and our desire to keep employees safe,” said Christian Treiber, vice president of customer services at MBUSA. “Through our partnership with Microsoft, we have a new paradigm for technology support and communication that helps our dealers and technicians master the complexity of these vehicles while eliminating travel time and onsite visits. It’s like having an expert on your shoulder.”