Porsche's Tech Live Look uses augmented reality to fix cars faster

Shorter repair times when Google Glass meets PowerPoint presentation

While we wait for augmented reality to come to our windshields, Porsche is putting the technology to work behind the scenes in dealership repair bays. The carmaker's Tech Live Look system establishes a video call between dealer service technicians and Atlanta-based Porsche tech experts through a set of glasses equipped with HD video and a small screen — think Google Glass meets a PowerPoint presentation.

When the dealer tech at any of Porsche's 189 U.S. dealers has a problem, he can call the experts at Porsche HQ in Atlanta. When the tech puts on his ODG R-7 smart glasses and hooks into the AiR Enterprise software, the Atlanta-based expert gets high-def video of everything the tech looks at. In Atlanta, the expert can make notations on his screen, or take a screenshot and enlarge it, then superimpose those notations and detail snapshots on one of the R-7 lenses. The Atlanta support can also project tech bulletins, schematics, and documents onto the R-7 lens so the dealer tech has all the info he needs as he works through the job.

Porsche said that by eliminating the phone calls, e-mails, and on-site visits traditionally used to resolve difficult issues, dealers can shorten maintenance times by up to 40 percent. That's the kind of efficiency any Porsche owner will appreciate. We think it's neat that the Atlanta-based tech support can see exactly what the dealer tech is looking at as tech support asks, "Have you tried turning it off and then turning it on again?"

Porsche N.A. began sending Tech Live Look units to its dealers last week, and hopes to have 75 fully up and running by the end of the year. The remaining 114 dealers will follow in 2019.

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