Volkswagen Group United Kingdom enabled technicians in 67 Van Centres and 30 Authorised Repairers to connect directly to experts in the Technical Support Centre to reduce vehicle service times.
Increasingly advanced vehicles require service technicians to collaborate with expert engineers, which lengthens maintenance times.
Volkswagen Group UK enabled technicians in 67 Van Centres and 30 Authorised Repairers to connect directly to experts in the Technical Support Centre to reduce service times.
Hands-Free Use Case
After-Sales Vehicle Service
Volkswagen Group UK does have expert engineers in the Technical Support Centre who assist service technicians with difficult diagnoses or repairs. However, it takes time for the engineers to travel to any one of the 97 U.K. service facilities or clearly document an issue over the phone or in an email.
This means that while an expert is on the way or while technicians wait for a phone or email response, customers will spend more time without their vehicle.
Because of their dedication to customer service and satisfaction, Volkswagen Group UK created the Remote Expert Live Support (RELS) solution. RELS connects service technicians with experts based in the Technical Support Centre for instantaneous support and collaboration.
The RealWear HMT-1 headset is voice-controlled, enabling technicians to access digital information while continuing to work with their hands. This information can be reference materials like diagnostic videos or diagrams of components.
Technicians can also connect with remote experts. With the headset’s camera, micro-display and two-way audio capabilities, the technician and remote expert can collaborate in real time to diagnose challenging issues. With Atheer augmented reality technology, the micro-display can give technicians even greater visual information in the right context.
“The new devices allow our team of Technical Support Agents to support our network with a virtual visit, which is as close as possible to the agent being in the centre,” says Paul Anderson, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Service Operations Manager. “Factors such as time out of the office, speed to booking and travel time are stripped out, leaving only the value of having our technical support agents virtually in the Van Centre to support the diagnostic process.”
After an initial test trial, Volkswagen Group UK rolled out RealWear headsets to 97 of its service facilities.
“Following a hugely successful trial, we have decided to invest in augmented reality technology to allow us to support our world-class technicians and valued customers alike,” says David Hanna, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Head of Service and Parts.
RealWear HMT-1 improves collaboration with real-time video and audio. Technicians can continue to work with their hands by using RealWear HMT-1’s hands-free controls.
Since rolling RealWear headsets with Atheer to service facilities around the country, engineer experts can provide assistance entirely from the Technical Support Centre. There was no longer a need to travel beyond their office in Milton Keynes, UK. With faster documentation of issues, Volkswagen Group UK also reported a 93% improvement in repair efficiency.
“RELS enables our Technical Service Centre to support Volkswagen Group’s innovative new vehicles with industry-leading customer service, reliability and safety,” says Metin Tahsin, Volkswagen Group UK’s Group Technical Support Manager. “We have seen the power of augmented reality and believe it will be a major driver to transform the way we service and maintain the millions of new Volkswagen Group vehicles that will hit the road in the next few years.”
While these are solid returns on investment, the greatest result was the improved customer service.
“As part of our ‘Working With You’ promise, we are committed to keeping customer vehicles on the road and minimizing downtime,” says Hanna.
“This technology provides the perfect solution by reducing the time a van spends in the workshop as well as improving the sustainability of our technical support operation.”