Porsche is no stranger to pioneering automotive technology, and the brand is taking another step forward in that legacy. The German luxury/performance brand is rolling out what it calls "Tech Live Look" to all of its 189 U.S. dealerships. Tech Live Look uses augmented reality to improve communications and speed up repairs by up to 40 percent.
Here’s how it works: a technician puts on computerized eyewear and examines a car that’s in the dealer for service. Remote experts on a technical support team in Atlanta can see what the technician sees. This makes the diagnosis process much faster, rather than back-and-forth emails and phone calls between dealers and the Atlanta technical support office trying to figure out what’s wrong with a car.
Augmented reality is often confused with virtual reality, but there are some distinct differences between the two. Virtual reality immerses the user in a totally virtual environment, while augmented reality adds things like graphics and overlays to the real world. For example, with Tech Live Look, someone from technical support in Atlanta can make notes and bring up relevant schematic drawings that the technician at the dealer wearing the headset can see in real time.
"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 Porsche Cars North America in a press release. "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."
Porsche tried this with a pilot program in 2017 and decided it was successful enough to implement nationwide. The new technology starts hitting dealers this week, with 75 dealers expected to be onboard by the end of 2018 and most of the remainder of the U.S. dealer network receiving the technology in 2019.
Porsche isn’t the first company to come up with the idea to use augmented reality in automotive repair, but it is the first brand implementing the technology on this scale. If you’re a Porsche owner, you can expect your car to spend less time in the shop and more time on the road for you to enjoy.