With cars becoming more and more complicated everyday, it is becoming increasingly difficult for mechanics and owners to work on them. But the same advancements in technologies that make it difficult to repair modern day cars can also help us figure out what’s wrong and fix the problem.
With a plethora of sensors, electronics and computers incorporated into modern day cars, it is difficult for people to ‘fiddle around’ with the cars because of the complexity of the technology involved. There was once a time when mechanics and even car enthusiasts could understand the internal working of an automobile, but the new tech savvy age has made it difficult for even these people to know what goes on inside. Luckily, auto and tech companies are developing way to allow people to know what to do with modern day cars without even touching a tool.
BMW has developed a pair of sunglasses with attached earbuds that shows the mechanics all the components of the engine in highlighted form. It also displays computer generated information on which components are problematic and gives instructions on how to disassemble and repair the parts. The glasses contain small screens which display computer generated images of the real world.
This technology is called Augmented Reality (AR) and is the key to the future of auto repair where you can know the problems in the car before even handling any tool. Google Glass and contact lenses with integrated displays are finally making AR possible. The technology has also been made easily available with the accessibility of smartphones and the only limitation now is for people to come up with new applications to implement it into our daily lives.
Augmented windscreens and seats could allow the driver to see the whole car as one transparent vehicle and give greater visibility of the road and surroundings. Though this tech may become a reality far off in the future, AR is here to stay. Volkswagen’s XL1 concept uses a service support system named Marta (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance), that provides instructions to identify and label components of the car.
While some automakers are integrating these systems into new models and gadgets, other companies like Audi are making the tech available to the masses today. The German automaker has released a mobile app in Europe which helps users identify over 200 components in a car. The app is a user manual which allows the user to point their smartphone camera towards the problem and it tells them how to fix the issue. The app can help people make simple fixes without having to worry about taking their car to a mechanic.
AR could someday help us connect our cars to our smartphones and simply feed us all the information in a step-by-step manner and allow anyone to maintain their car without ever having to visit the mechanic again. This may sound like bad news for mechanic shops, but it is an opportunity for them to adapt and evolve for the modern era. The future of Augmented Reality surely sounds exciting, Doesn’t it?