Mercedes-Benz Canada launches mixed reality program for technicians

Oct. 28, 2021
Service technicians wear a HoloLens headset and access technical support from around the world.

Mercedes-Benz Canada has announced a new mixed reality automotive maintenance system that will lead to faster and more precise vehicle servicing.

Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, powered by Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, was introduced at Mercedes-Benz dealerships across Canada in July, becoming the first automotive company in the country to deploy the technology to every dealership in its national network. This follows on the heels of Mercedes-Benz USA announcing the deployment of the program across its 383 dealerships in the United States in September 2020.

The technology allows dealership service technicians to wear the HoloLens 2 headset — an untethered, self-contained holographic device — to work hands-free. Whether simply inspecting a vehicle to make decisions about body repair or to solve more complex situations that require a collaborative diagnostic plan, the technician can share real-time views and sounds of the vehicle while talking with Mercedes-Benz technical specialists located across Canada and around the world.

"It's like having the right expert over your shoulder the minute you need them. Since deploying this technology in July we are getting cars back to the owners —diagnosed, fixed, and ready to roll — in a fraction of the time,” said Joseph Lagrasta, shop foreman, Mercedes-Benz Brampton in Ontario, Canada. “I'm also excited about the comprehensive, 3-D training sessions we will have access to. All of this helps us deliver the best possible customer experience with the most efficient and quality service possible."

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, the remote technical specialists work with the onsite technicians in an immersive mixed reality environment and can share intricate 3-D images and holograms, see where changes need to be made, annotate the visual information, add documents, and insert instructions to highlight which areas to focus on. This insight and technological guidance helps complete complex maintenance issues more quickly, the company said, and the remote specialists do not need to travel to lend their specialized expertise.

"This technology represents a paradigm shift in the automotive industry and how Mercedes-Benz Canada serves its drivers,” said Nikhil Ondhia, vice president, customer services, Mercedes-Benz Canada. “Our collaboration with Microsoft Canada and the use of Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist is already benefiting drivers and dealers by reducing servicing time and costs, freeing up service bay space and most importantly, getting drivers back in their Mercedes-Benz vehicles and on the road again.”

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