It’s no secret that Ford Motor Company has been implementing various wearable technologies around company assembly plants to protect workers and create more efficient manufacturing environments. Today, the brand has gone further by announcing they recently conducted a pilot study of the RealWear HMT-1 Hands-free Remote Collaboration Tool, which remotely connects Ford dealership technicians with Ford’s Technical Assistance Centre.
By introducing this kind of technology Ford plans to get customers back on the road faster. From a dealership perspective this technology leads to increased productivity and a reduction in the repair orders that would go through the dealership.
What’s behind the technology?
The RealWear HMT-1 virtual reality set consists of a high-definition camera, flashlight, array of microphones and voice-activated controls. With it, dealership service technicians can safely demonstrate technical issues to the engineer and get immediate real-time support.
Engineers can also control the direction of the camera, take photos and notes and even share screens from service bulletins and wiring diagrams with the technician via the built-in display on the headset, thereby allowing them to remain hands-free while conducting the repairs.
According to Pieter Verster, SEO director for Ford Middle East and Africa, big dealerships around the country will be prioritised for the rollout of these devices which they plan to complete by the end of Q2/beginning of Q3. Each dealership will receive one RealWear HMT-1 headset and accompanying training.
This strategy also complements the recent launch of the Ford Repair Centre concept, which supports Ford dealers in their vicinity should they have a vehicle that is difficult to repair.
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