BMW North America equips technicians with AR smart glasses

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BMW North America is equipping technicians in all of its 347 dealerships in the US with RealWear HMT-1 smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) support.

By the end of this month, technicians at BMW dealerships across the US, and in selected Mini dealers, will use HMT-1 smart glasses, coupled with Ubimax AR software, to gain easier and faster access to technical information and a real-time live link to engineers for additional support.

BMW has developed a new multimedia platform to underpin its technicians’ AR-enabled smart glasses.

The new Technical Information System (TIS) 2.0 is an “intuitive” multimedia platform for technician support.

TIS 2.0 was developed with feedback from technicians and can be accessed by personnel on any mobile device, putting all technical data for every BMW and Mini model at every technician’s fingertips.

BMW’s complimentary online case reporting system, TSARA, will speed these repair and maintenance processes by an average of 70% to 75%, the car manufacturer predicted.

When direct support from engineers is needed, BMW envisions the AR-enabled smart glasses, called TSARAVision, coming into play in its dealers and workshops.

Donning a pair of TSARAVision smart glasses, technicians in service centres can now connect with engineers and other experts at BMW directly via a hands-free video link and collaboratively work through issues to resolve them in a faster and more efficient manner.

The expert can project step-by-step technical bulletins and schematic drawings onto the display inside the technician’s glasses, as well as take screenshots and enlarge images for better visibility. The technician can open and view documents via voice instructions while working on the car.

Claus Eberhart, vice president of aftersales at BMW North America, said: “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.”

BMW also believes that these new technologies will support current and future technicians as they maintain the next generation of vehicles.

“Vehicle technology is becoming more complex, which only highlights the need for excellent technicians,” said Neal Guthrie, department head for technical service.

“Hiring top technicians and providing them with the best possible systems and tools with which to work, will be critical to our success.”

Image credit: BMW North America