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

Scania speeds up autonomous transport pilot program

Equipped with Plus, Scania has been testing its trucks in Sweden since 2021 — now it plans to expand operations throughout Europe, this year.

SCANIA-Logo-vector

Scania is expanding development of autonomous hub-to-hub transport solutions, with the launch of an Autonomous Commercial Pilot Program. As part of Traton Group, Scania will also be involved in a new partnership with U.S.-based Plus, which will integrate its Level 4, fully autonomous SuperDrive technology stack into Scania and Traton Group vehicles. The company says the Scania Autonomous Commercial Pilot Program is part of an increased focus on establishing customer-driven testing to demonstrate hub-to-hub technology, and creating scalable operational concepts that deliver real value in customers’ operations.  

IRS clarifies: RNG cleaning and conditioning equipment eligible for tax credit

RNG Coalition notes a correction to an investment tax credit proposal regarding RNG cleaning and conditioning equipment.

RNG-Coalition-logo-ITC-technical-correction
Stellantis and UFOFleet form partnership

Stellantis says it chose UFOFleet for its proven customer experience, flexible technology and deployments with leading global brands.

UFO-Fleet-Stellantis
SKF helps Maverick Transportation keep wheels attached

Having a wheel fly off while driving can be catastrophic, and SKF says TraX and Road Ready help catch issues early.

SKF-Road-Ready-TraX-wheel-telematics-Maverick-Transportation
FieldRoutes announces ServiceTitan Fleet Pro integration

The company says this integration helps customers to eliminate side jobs, prevent unsafe driving, maximize billable hours and more.

service-maintenance-data-generic-1400

Other Posts

Bestpass announces new integration with Geotab

Geotab customers using Bestpass can now access new toll activity data and reporting features through a single interface

Bestpass-Geotab-integration
Decisiv adds SRM Sentinel Managed Care to TICO Edge

According to Decisiv, the new addition to the service management platform lets customers to proactively meet service needs and improve uptime.

Decisiv-TICO-TMC-2024-Dick-Hyatt
Noregon announces ZF tractor, trailer telematics collaboration

The two companies demonstrated an early version of the paired telematics collaboration at the TMC 2024 Annual Meeting.

Noregon-TMC-ZF-partnership-telematics
The new Volvo VNL’s connectivity aims to boost productivity, streamline maintenance

Real-time fleet monitoring, remote updates, and extended service intervals for optimized truck performance.

Volvo-connectivity-service-TMC-1400