Volkswagen Announces an Augmented Reality Repair App for VW Technicians

Auto manufacturer Volkswagen has embraced mobile technology in a major way. It recently unveiled a travelogue app for journeys in its cars. The company’s even gone so far as to partner with Apple on the upcoming iPhone ready iBeetle model of its Beetle. Now the company will be unveiling an iOS app that uses Augmented Reality to help VW technicians repair and customize your ride!

Prof. Werner Schreiber, Head of Volkswagen Group Research will be unveiling MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) at the upcoming InsideAR conference in Munich. The conference, the biggest of its kind, kicks off on October 11th and focuses on advances in Augmented Reality technology and applications.

Volkswagen’s MARTA allows the mechanics in Volkswagen service centers to view the workflow of repairs as they’re performing them, with Augmented Reality features that overlay the steps. The app works for customization too, guiding technicians through the process of installing custom accessories and modifications

Volkswagen will be revealing all the details of MARTA at InsideAR. For more information, VW’s press release follows below.

Wolfsburg, 30 September 2013

MARTA – innovative service support for the XL1

Augmented reality makes its way into service centres

Databrowser mobile service information system Databrowser mobile service information system

Today’s vehicles like the XL1 are characterised by continually growing complexity. This means that service employees will need more extensive support in servicing new vehicles and their innovative functions. The XL1 is a technological frontrunner – not only in its lightweight design, aerodynamics and state-of-the-art drive technology, but in the service area as well. The MARTA project is being presented at the InsideAR Conference, the world’s largest Augmented Reality conference in Munich on the 11th of October 2013 by Prof. Werner Schreiber, Head of Volkswagen Group Research.

The working methods and sequences of work steps used by employees of Volkswagen Service in their everyday work are highly dependent upon a vehicle’s equipment and features. To make it easier to manage this growing complexity, employees must be efficiently supported in their work activities. This requires advanced development of the classic repair instructions which show the employee how to perform the tasks of the specific job, step by step, with relevant supplemental information such as the tools to be used, assembly configurations and test specifications.

To achieve these goals, Volkswagen developed a new display system for service information, especially for the XL1, which also provides the information on tablets and shows the service employee the next work steps directly. What is known as the MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) system, which was developed together with the company Metaio GmbH, shows real and virtual parts in three-dimensional relation to one another.

Using the previous approach, the service technician could only call up digital repair guidelines. For the XL1, these guidelines were supplemented by the MARTA augmented reality function which “labels” the individual parts and elements with text and shows work instructions clearly.

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.

[Via: Volkswagon]

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