Augmented reality in truck service: A different way to train technicians

Augmented reality in truck service: A different way to train technicians

With augmented reality training, fleets can lower costs and downtime, and find it easier to attract new technicians.

New vehicle technologies are increasing the complexity of repairs, tools and skills needed by technicians, notes Matt Johnston, director of commercial experience for Design Interactive. “That creates a challenge for fleets to provide technicians with training that is not only effective and productive,” he says, “but which can also be updated with changes in technologies and systems.

“The industry has used video- and computer-based training and more recently has leveraged virtual reality to train technicians,” Johnston adds. “Augmented reality brings the best of these training solutions to the shop floor where the task is performed. Instead of being in front of a computer or viewing a video, it keeps technicians in their environment so it provides a more effective, hands-on experience.”

Design Interactive’s Augmentor transportation-focused augmented reality (AR) training platform lets technicians visualize procedure steps where they are conducted. For example, if a vehicle requires an inspection of its tires or brakes, the step is placed near or on that component or system. Users can also see 3D virtual representations of parts for reference during inspection or repairs.

“AR, in general, is a different way to train… It empowers experts in the field to rapidly create solutions to problems they encounter and share them across an enterprise. It is also attractive to younger technicians.”

Matt Johnston, director of commercial
experience for Design Interactive

Now available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Augmentor provides training on procedures and troubleshooting methods that can be accessed across individual shops and multiple maintenance locations to train technicians for a lower cost. The solution, according to Johnston, ensures that every technician is trained consistently. It also allows vendors to deliver training digitally and reach more technicians faster with new procedures.

“AR, in general, is a different way to train,” Johnston says. “It more effectively disseminates knowledge because it empowers experts in the field to rapidly create solutions to problems they encounter and share them across an enterprise. It is also attractive to younger technicians.”

With finding new ways to attract the next generation of technicians vital to trucking operations, Design Interactive is planning to work with the Technology & Maintenance Council to develop a mobile augmented reality game inspired by TMCSuperTech, its National Technician Skills Competition. Having a mobile, smart-device based game was seen by TMC as a means of increasing the visibility of maintenance technician careers and supporting outreach campaigns focused on generating interest in the trucking industry among school-aged children, parents and educators.

Design Interactive’s gamified TMCSuperTech skills challenge will use AR technology to project a fictional city with a fleet of moving trucks. As vehicles require service, they are brought into a virtual garage where the game asks users playing the role of a technician to execute tasks inspired by SuperTech skills challenges.

“The trucking industry faces a serious shortage of technicians because of the anticipated large number of retirees and the increasingly competitive job market for skilled workers,” Johnston says. “Augmented reality has already had a significant impact in other industries compared to traditional training methods. For fleets, AR technology can help lower costs, increase vehicle uptime and shop productivity, and help attract new technicians.”

You May Also Like

Synop, Geotab announce EV charging integration solution

This integrated solution will combine Synop’s software with Geotab’s data insights.

Synop, an electric vehicle operations platform, and Geotab have announced a partnership that will give fleet operators in North America access to integrated EV charging and energy management within Geotab’s software platform, MyGeotab.

Commercial fleets, which include maintenance vehicles, delivery vans, semi-trucks, rental cars, government vehicles and school buses, face many obstacles when integrating EVs, including energy price volatility, multiple charging requirements, and prolonged charge cycles. According to the companies, integrating Synop’s software with Geotab’s data insights allows customers to manage their EV assets in real-time on a single, unified platform.

Michelin Connected Fleet delivers new suite of fleet-management solutions

Michelin has officially launched the Michelin Connected Fleet brand in North America, bringing an all-new portfolio of fleet-management solutions to the commercial trucking industry that combines connected-vehicle technology with performance analysis and services. Michelin Connected Fleet,  powered by NexTraq LLC, offers solutions for truck management, trailer management, ELDs and driver safety, plus smart report services

Explaining the truck operating system that’s spanning makes, models

Platform Science’s Virtual Vehicle aims to be the operating system of the trucking industry.

Kodiak Robotics announces new COO

Kodiak Robotics appoints former USA Truck CEO James Reed as COO.

The importance of flexibility in truck maintenance, ADAS in truck winterization plans

Winterization requires fleets to consider advanced technology, including ADAS for safe driving.

Other Posts

Geotab, Cummins partner to enhance OTA connectivity

The Cummins connected software updates will be available within select Geotab devices and compatible engines.

Kenworth, Platform Science partner on virtual vehicle solution

Kenworth and Platform Science join forces to optimize fleet operations with integrated trucks and telematics.

Geotab announces Data Connector for business insights

Geotab says this tool enhances data analysis and automated reporting capabilities.

Three autonomous truck aspects to start seriously considering

The automated truck conversation expands beyond the technology and into business reality.