We reported a lot about ‘connected vehicles and autonomous driving’, but how will new technologies change your workshop? At this year’s Automechanika visitors could experience the ‘Connected workshop’.
Automechanika in Frankfurt is the world’s largest showcase for the independent aftermarket. This year 136,000 visitors from over 170 countries visited a record of 4,820 exhibitors. Connected cars and even the connected workshop took centre stage at this world leading trade fair.
New networking technologies and Augmented-Reality applications are bound to improve service efficiency and lifting quality standards in your workshop.
The connected workshop will enable automotive repair businesses to plan services and repairs more easily and substantially improve work processes. Vehicle data and maintenance history will available even before the customers arrives. Data is automatically transferred in real time between the vehicle, diagnostic equipment and important manufacturer information.
Bosch presented it’s ‘Connected Repair’ combining existing Bosch diagnostic systems in your workshop. Vehicle data will be immediately available at all other PC-based systems in your workshop. If a vehicle is identified once by license plate number or VIN the system obtains and accesses all data of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is in the system it allows immediate access to the complete vehicle service history including all test results. The systems basically creates a profile of a vehicle and stores it in the cloud. A customer or new owner of a vehicle will know what has or hasn’t been done to the vehicle and by which workshop.
Our workshops will get less greasy and more geeky!
The technician of the (near) future will use smart glasses or a tablet to access additional necessary information if the device camera is pointed at the vehicle. The image will then show instructions, diagrams, objects or even hidden components or cabling.
The technicians will then be able to access information such as sophisticated service manuals from the cloud. The tablet camera will take images and even interpret them and give the technician information and highlight what bolt for example needs to be tightened. Systems like these should save time for mechanics and even give them the opportunity to order necessary parts via the tablet. I personally wonder how that will impact the spare parts sales funnel and distribution channels of the main manufacturers and the automotive repair market.
Augmented Reality can superimpose important additional information simplifying the ever increasing complex technology.
As things get more advanced it is key for us mechanics and technicians to keep up. Automotive repair businesses will have to keep investing a lot of money to stay certified and competitive. It looks like it will become more and more about licensed software and who will be able to have access to it.
Hyundai and Volkswagen have also introduced an augmented reality owners manual. The manual works on the owner’s smartphone or tablet and the in-built camera recognises different components under the hood, the boot or inside the vehicle. It then displays overlays explanations and offers tutorial on how you can use that component or even show you how to check oil for example. Car owners will gain easier understanding of their vehicle and the use of technology and apps will change the way automotive experts will interact with customers.
Click on the image to see the video on how this currently works.
More and more car companies will introduce these technologies to workshops and customers alike. It will change the way we service and repair vehicles and also impact the expectations of our customers. The importance of technical information and access will not only shift but increase in importance to our lines of work.