Service techs at a West Coast Mercedes-Benz dealership were puzzled. They were trying to solve why sensors in a vehicle were picking up engine misfires, but the diagnostic data wasn't.
Wearing Mercedes-Benz's new HoloLens 2 glasses, a tech inadvertently touched the driveshaft, causing it to move. Scott Saxton, a Mercedes-Benz USA field service engineer sitting in his Portland, Ore., office and watching the video feed from the tech's glasses, reported what he saw. The tech checked the driveshaft and discovered a worn support loop, which had caused vibrations that misfired a sensor.
"With HoloLens 2, we could see the driveshaft moving," Saxton says. "I could see it shouldn't have moved that far."
Saxton and the tech were able to solve the problem more quickly than by going back-and-forth through email.
"You always lose something in that [email] communication," he says.
The collaboration among Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 software allows Saxton to help diagnose issues at any Mercedes dealership in his 12-state, 2-million-mile Northwest service region.
The high-tech glasses simplify the back-and-forth between Mercedes-Benz's 383 U.S. dealerships and a group of expert service advisers such as Saxton. Though not the first auto manufacturer to implement augmented-reality glasses — Porsche finished the rollout of its similar Tech Live Look program this year, and Toyota is working with Microsoft to develop its own version — Mercedes is pushing the envelope both in features the glasses offer and number of dealerships using the devices.