Porsche Is Using Augmented Reality for Remote Assistance

Perhaps the most utilitarian modality of augmented reality in industrial settings is the use of headset technology for hands-free communication between parties in a manner that improves efficiency de facto.

(Image courtesy of Porsche.)

(Image courtesy of Porsche.)

Videoconferencing provides field technicians with access to a variety of on-demand specialists who can deliver help in real time. Both parties can see the issue: the specialist guides the field technician remotely and provides instructions and course corrects the hands of the technician, who follows along. The visual interface provides a direct line of sight to the problem in question, helping to ensure maximum compliance.

Porsche Is Using RDG-7 Smart Glasses

Automotive company Porsche uses augmented reality in this fashion. Porsche calls the program Tech Live Look. After running the pilot program, Porsche slowly and carefully tested it out at different dealerships beginning in 2017. Now, the RDG-7 system is available for local dealership technicians at 189 locations. The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous in terms of business continuity and disaster planning. Technicians at local Porsche dealerships just strap on a pair of ODG R-7 smart glasses and link up to specialists when they need help.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of remote communication between local dealership technicians and remote specialists at Porsche is increasing to an average of one call per day. By conferring with specialists who provide needed technical information from several remote locations, local technicians receive technical readouts and service instructions directly in their line of sight.

The remote specialists do not wear the ODG R-7 smart glasses. Instead, they work from desktop computers to provide assistance.

Bottom Line

Usage of the Tech Live Look program increased threefold in the first months of the pandemic, and Porsche recorded the highest levels of its usage during the month of April.

Hands-free video teleconferencing using smart glasses such as the RDG-7 (though ODG, the company, has since folded up) is one of the best use cases when making an argument that augmented reality has practical applications for technicians, specialists and engineers these days. The ability to overlay technical instructions in real time while using tools allows specialists and technicians the ability to achieve a working symbiosis.

This relationship effectively exponentiates the specialist’s knowledge and skill set. By exporting knowledge remotely, the Tech Live Look program and Porsche serendipitously found themselves quite prepared to keep business moving at local dealerships despite travel and distancing restrictions. The Tech Live Look has greatly improved the ability of local dealership technicians to rapidly and correctly solve issues as they pop up in real time.