The many advancements in software are transforming the automotive industry, but while posing challenges of a different proportion to companies. With too many vehicle systems to handle, they need a platform that is capable of providing essential remote support to field forces and help automate the entire workflow. Augmented Reality could deliver this capability, as the technology can provide effective remote assistance to teams while creating a streamlined, automated workflow and a database management system that can enhance operational efficiency, cut down costs & manual errors, and lower carbon footprint.
Reducing Complexity – the Primary Need
The software content for every part of the vehicle is increasingly getting high, which means that a lot more effort is required to integrate these systems and make them work as a cohesive unit. Any change in a single software module could increase the workload significantly.
Software complexity won’t reduce, in fact, it is expected to triple over the next decade. This will make it difficult for OEMs and suppliers to deal with, as their productivity isn’t increasing at the rate required to sustain such an innovation. As the gap between complexity and productivity is widening, OEMs and tier-one suppliers face a massive talent shortage, along with increased development costs. The most practical solution here is to streamline software development by reducing the complexity involved.
It’s More Than Your Default Collaboration Software
Visual support platforms like Teams and Zoom have ruled the roost during the pandemic, connecting people across cities and even oceans. The efficiency of the tool for connecting people cannot be contested. But it may not be the doctor ordered for all aspects of field services, especially automotive.
Augmented Reality goes beyond facilitating collaboration and offers contextual guidance, making the work process simpler, faster, and easy to finish. This can help both engineers & mechanics to troubleshoot issues super-quick, improve the NPS, and ultimately increase your ROI score.
Instructions and guides that take the AR format replace long and complex manuals, providing engineers and mechanics with access to all phases of inspection, maintenance, and operational activities across the plant and production facilities. In effect, we see a sizable reduction in equipment downtime and other restrictions, improved product quality controls, improved manufacturing capabilities, optimized after-sales customer service, and an ultra-realistic training platform that leads to better retention of learning concepts and improved on-field performances.
Old-school methods are hardly the right platform to train people who deal with automotive operations day in and day out. It fails to hit a memorable chord and makes training a dull, repetitive affair with a complete absence of the practical element.
Modern-day training must take a hands-on nature, simply because we now have the possibility of training people through experience, and experience has the ability to influence behaviour.
An AR platform can merge the physical world with the virtual, and create a realistic environment for people to train. You can now visualize the innermost components of a vehicle and its part specifications that are otherwise inaccessible (through Holographic navigation) – thereby enhancing the efficiency across all levels of expertise. Such a realistic portrayal of training content improves retention of concepts and offers a better perspective on how the real-world job would look.
It offers a training platform where engineers get to practise the various tasks they’ll be undertaking, through interactive and animated learning content. The trainees will experience step-by-step guidance with annotations to guide them hand-in-hand, every step of the process. This helps them have an intrinsic and detailed understanding of their scope of work, knowledge of equipment, procedures to safe work, etc.
The Marketing Edge
The age of buyer beware is long gone. The customers of today try their best to not get convinced. This suggests that the tactics of the old are best left behind, to be replaced with experiences that could help them make a decision. Augmented Reality provides a space wherein users can visualize overlapping information of the vehicle, such as interior and exterior parts, performance, weight, etc, in an interactive and eye-catching way.
Product Development & Maintenance
Complexity affects every part of the chain, product design in particular. Augmented Reality could ease major factory floor operations, making it efficient in the process. Spatial AR applications can help engineers match various design options to physical vehicle models. Documentations and manuals, which may not be user-friendly when it comes to operational guidance, could be replaced effectively with smart-glass supported instructions. Locating vehicle parts, as we saw, is now not too difficult because AR visualization takes you right to it. AR devices can identify machines and equipment that need service by simply checking their data and history.
These benefits join together to deliver an optimized assembly process, saves operation costs by cutting down on the prices for prototyping, and improves the productivity of product development with automated processes.
For the User, its User-Friendly
The consumers of today crave convenience, a metric that businesses must cater to sustain, to get ahead. This explains why despite the many complexities involved in a modern car, we have it sophisticated, laying the foundations for a promising culture of human-machine interface.
It is now possible to share fundamental user-experience constructs across vehicle domains. This enables output methods such as the centre screen, instrument cluster, and heads-up display to have consistent behaviour, look, and feel. Real-time notifications trigger visual, auditory, and tactile feedback that alerts drivers to act during an emergency. Drivers get immediate access and information to the surrounding environments and their conditions, apart from the now-famous feature – navigation.
Today, the automotive industry works with high safety standards and increasing competition. This, along with the more complex nature of the industry, requires companies to invest in digitized features that can resolve the many bottlenecks that plague productivity and profits. AR presents companies the opportunity to develop smart connected vehicles and develop cutting-edge competitive solutions, solutions that make you stand apart.