Augmented Reality – Helping to fix your motor

Imagine the scene. You work for Volkswagen. You work on the Service section. You’re not the guy who sits in the showroom with the badge that says “Service” on it. Oh no, you’re not that guy. He’s the guy that gets to sell “Service Plans” and sells £17 parts for £210 with labour.

No, you’re the guy in the back. You’re the guy in that clinically clean garage section but – horror of horrors – you don’t quite know everything about the car you’re working on. Let’s face it, cars are like mobile computers now. If something goes wrong you may as well turn it off and on again. Even the AA man gets a laptop and a USB port out before taking things to bits.

Augmented Reality   Helping to fix your motor

So, here’s something called “MARTA”. It stands for “Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance” and helps VW mechanics tighten their nuts properly. Armed with a tablet and the MARTA system, the mechanic simply holds up the tablet and points it towards the engine. The system will detect and display the required information to make everything easy to find.

When MARTA is called up, the system lists all of the jobs to be performed along with the necessary equipment. Each work task to be performed begins with what is known as an initialisation. The vehicle’s silhouette is shown in the display of the mobile end device, and it shows the employee the orientation to be taken in relation to the vehicle. If the silhouette and the camera image of the real vehicle agree, the initialisation is finished successfully. Then the individual context-dependent work steps are shown on the tablet. This gives the employee a new system for identifying work items quicker and more accurately.

There’s a video of this in action below or get more info here.