Mercedes Canada adopts Microsoft Mixed Reality

  • November 2, 2021
  • William Payne

Mercedes-Benz Canada has deployed mixed reality technology from Microsoft that it says has led to faster, more precise vehicle servicing for customers and dealers across the country.

Powered by Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support is a mixed reality automotive maintenance system which from July 2021 onwards, Mercedes-Benz Canada has deployed to every dealership in its national network. All Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the country now feature this technology, which offers applications that are fully bilingual in both English and French, the two official languages of Canada.

The technology allows dealership service technicians to wear the HoloLens 2 headset – an untethered, self-contained holographic device – to work hands-free. The technician can share real-time views and sounds of the vehicle while talking with Mercedes-Benz technical specialists located across Canada and around the world. This cooperative aspect can help the technician solve complex and challenging problems rapidly and accurately.

Such sophisticated technical precision is needed now that Mercedes-Benz vehicles are built with more than 100 million lines of software code – more than the Space Shuttle, an F-35 fighter jet and a pacemaker combined. 

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, the remote technical specialists work with the onsite technicians in an immersive mixed reality environment and can share intricate 3D images and holograms, see where changes need to be made, annotate the visual information, add documents, and insert instructions to highlight which areas to focus on. This insight and technological guidance helps complete complex maintenance issues more quickly, and the remote specialists do not need to travel to lend their specialised expertise, let alone leave their office.

Mercedes-Benz Canada is piloting additional use cases to leverage the potential of the technology, including supporting in-depth training programmes and further mastering the complexity of the vehicles through video, 3D images and more. Providing step-by-step visual instructions will help accelerate on-the-job learning and offer skill-building initiatives that target specific gaps, while helping recruit the next generation of highly skilled service technicians to the three-pointed star.

“This technology represents a paradigm shift in the automotive industry and how Mercedes-Benz Canada serves its drivers,” said Nikhil Ondhia, Vice President, Customer Services, Mercedes-Benz Canada. “Our collaboration with Microsoft Canada and the use of Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist is already benefiting drivers and dealers by reducing servicing time and costs, freeing up service bay space and most importantly, getting drivers back in their Mercedes-Benz vehicles and on the road again. What’s most exciting is that this is just the beginning – we are continuously testing new applications to further improve the training opportunities and further master the complexity of our amazing new models.”

“I’ve already experienced firsthand how Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist are game-changers,” said Joseph Lagrasta, Shop Foreman, Mercedes-Benz Brampton. “It’s like having the right expert over your shoulder the minute you need them. Since deploying this technology in July we are getting cars back to the owners—diagnosed, fixed, and ready to roll – in a fraction of the time. I’m also excited about the comprehensive, 3D training sessions we will have access to. All of this helps us deliver the best possible customer experience with the most efficient and quality service possible.”

“Our collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Canada demonstrates how transformative technology is empowering frontline workers,” said Sherief Ibrahim, General Manager, Business Applications, Microsoft Canada. “With Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Mercedes-Benz Canada has seen rapid time to value, moving from proof of concept in the US to broad deployment across Canada in under a year. This solution has disrupted the automotive industry, improving the services and repair timelines Mercedes-Benz Canada provides for its customers.”