Volkswagen Boosts Repair Efficiency by 93% with RealWear and Atheer

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.

Volkswagen Group UK is a division under the globally recognized Volkswagen Group and sells and services Volkswagen vehicles across the United Kingdom.

The Challenge

Increasingly advanced vehicles require service technicians to collaborate with expert engineers, which lengthens maintenance times.

The Solution

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.

The Results

  • Increased repair efficiency by 93%
  • Reduced Technical Support Centre’s CO2 expenditure by 2.5 tonnes by eliminating travel need
  • Improved customer satisfaction by shortening maintenance time

Hands-Free Use Case

After-Sales Vehicle Service

Volkswagen recently shared its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate protection in its plan to produce 22 million electric vehicles by 2028 with a target of being fully carbon neutral by 2050. Soon, Volkswagen service technicians will be called to maintain, diagnose and repair 70 new models, in addition to the existing portfolio of advanced vehicles already on the roads. But with increased vehicle complexity, more specialized knowledge is needed.

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.

Service Facilities Acquire A New Tool: Augmented and Assisted Reality

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.

To drive the RELS solution, Volkswagen Group UK looked to RealWear HMT-1 headsets running Atheer augmented reality technology to streamline their process

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.

“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.”

Improving Customer Service with Faster Service

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.”

“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.”

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.”

Solution Highlight

Atheer assisted reality technology on RealWear enables technicians to better diagnose and repair complex issues.

Learn more about Atheer at RealWear.com.

Download Volkswagen Success Story

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