BMW North America is in the rollout stage of the new Technical Information System (TIS 2.0). Developed by BMW NA, the original TIS has been around for some time now, and BMW aficionados who find themselves deep within technical discussions have come to rely on it, just like dealership technicians who turn wrenches on the BMW’s latest model offerings for a living. With this newest iteration though, the integration of smart glasses as part of BMW’s Technical Support and Research Assistant (TSARA) has been made possible, and the headgear can display technical renderings in a form of augmented reality.
It’s all in an effort to reduce repair turn around times and increase customer satisfaction. In addition to the glasses, TIS 2.0 also offers multi-device and mobile support, whereas the old system necessitated pausing work, and using a nearby desktop terminal to pull up the appropriate information. TSARA, the new online case-reporting system mentioned above, is claimed to speed up the carrying out of maintenance and repair procedures by an average of 70 to 75%
The glasses use hardware made by Realwear, while Ubimax augmented reality software is the underlying platform used to display schematic overlays in front of technicians. They’re also voice controlled, so there’s no need to put down any tools, or even leave the working position, and a direct connection with BMW North America engineers can also be established for especially complex or technical situations. The entire process is much more seamless, reliable, and quicker than sending photos and descriptions back and forth.
By the end of this month, the technology is scheduled to be implemented at all 347 U.S. BMW dealerships, along with select MINI dealers as well. The move follows Porsche implementing a similar setup, with the same ultimate goals in mind, back in 2018.
If it translates to faster, more accurate repairs, quicker turnaround times, and fewer mistakes in the service bay, we anxiously await the results, with high anticipation.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW NA.]