Porsche goes hi-tech for repairs

Porsche Cars North America is launching a program that uses augmented reality technology to handle car repairs at dealerships across the country.

The company is rolling out Tech Live Look, a system that connects Porsche technicians to experts through the use of smartglasses. This system may shorten the time it takes to make repairs by up to 40 percent, according to Porsche officials.

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“Tech Live Look is the kind of digital innovation Porsche values because it raises the quality of the customer experience,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA. “By solving issues faster, our dealer partners can get their customers back into cars with less disruption. And our overall service quality increases as we share expertise more efficiently between our experts and dealer technicians.”

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The first dealer partners launched Tech Live Look on Tuesday, and the goal is to have 75 dealers on board by the end of the year. PCNA is in talks with Atlanta’s two dealers, Porsche Atlanta Perimeter and Hennessey Porsche North Atlanta, and hope to have them as part of the rollout in 2018. The rest of Porsche’s 189 U.S. dealers will follow in 2019.

Here’s how Tech Live works: A service technician dons computerized eyewear that’s powered by augmented reality software to allow remote experts hundreds of miles away to see what the technician is seeing and allows those experts to provide feedback while the technician works hands-free.

For example, a service technician at a dealership in Los Angeles, uses the smartglasses and connects through the software with the Atlanta-based Porsche technical support team 2,200 miles away. The high-definition live video from the glasses allows the support team to see exactly what the technician is seeing.

The expert in turn can project step-by-step technical bulletins and schematic drawings onto the display inside the technician’s glasses, as well as take screenshots and enlarge images for better visibility. The technician can open and view documents as well.

Normally, a complex or unusual technical issue can go back and forth repeatedly between a dealership and the PCNA technical support team, officials said. That process eats up a great deal of time as technicians have to wade through multiple electronic messages, phone calls, photos, and even on-site visits from Porsche’s Field Technical Managers to identify repair issues.

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