How Smart Glasses Will Help Porsche Technicians Fix Customers' Cars

Image: Porsche
Image: Porsche

Technicians at Porsche dealerships will soon be using “high-tech spectacles” to receive instructions, and to send real-time wrenching footage to the company’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Here’s how the “Tech Live Look” system works.

Porsche dropped a press release yesterday introducing a new Augmented Reality technology aimed at helping mechanics diagnose and repair cars. The system requires technicians to wear projection screen-equipped glasses with a built-in flashlight and an auto focus camera that “shows even fine details such as threading on screws.”

In its press release, Porsche breaks down how the glasses let technicians from around the continent communicate with the company’s support staff in Atlanta, saying:

When a service technician at a dealership in Los Angeles dons this specialized eyewear and connects through the software with the Atlanta-based Porsche technical support team 2,200 miles away, it allows the support team to see exactly what he is seeing, in real time. This “see what I see” video-conferencing capability with instant access to remote experts allows both parties to quickly identify and resolve technical issues.

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Not only does the support team in Atlanta receive information from the technician via the camera, but data can also be transferred the other direction. That is, the team can send technical service bulletins or other instructions to the person holding the wrench by projecting it onto their glasses.

Image: Porsche
Image: Porsche

Porsche says the system is significantly more efficient than sending data via email or phone call. How much more efficient? The German automaker’s U.S. arm launched a pilot program this past summer at eight dealers in California, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, Washington and Canada, and noticed a decrease in “service resolution time” by up to 40 percent.

As someone who regularly has to upload videos of faults, call friends for advice, and look online for service instructions, I can see how this “Tech Live Look (which will roll out to dealers in 2018) could be a huge help to technicians. And who knows, maybe it can double as safety goggles. You know, to prevent rusty shards from getting in your eyes when you’re working under your car. That’s no fun.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me. Cars: Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94), Chrysler Voyager Diesel ('94)

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DISCUSSION

potbellyjoe
PotbellyJoe and 42 others

Your car has gotten so advanced/complicated that augmented reality is needed to assist the technician in fixing it. I love it. This is what a peak engineering car should be.

...of course, the customers will still kvetch about the $200+/hr labor rate.