Robotic Auto Repair Service From Audi
June 25, 2014

Robotic Auto Repair Service From Audi

I remember when I needed to repair my vehicles; I would drive them up on ramps or pop the hood myself and delve into the job of the backyard mechanic. If I couldn’t fix the problem, my cousin, who is a licensed mechanic, would come over and save the day.

However, as technological advances have increased in the vehicles of recent years, self-repair is no longer an option. Yeah, you can still change your own oil, spark plugs, some filters and do simple repairs like changing belts or hoses, but anything else, the vehicles needs to be taken to a repair shop fitted with testers and highly trained mechanics.

Now that more technology is being implemented in the vehicles of today, new methods are being produced to keep up with the changing times, and service technicians need years of training and refresher courses yearly just to keep up with the new technology.

Even manufactures are changing the way service and repair is provided to vehicle owners. Audi has announced a new device called ART (Audi Robotic Telepresence) to assist in vehicle diagnostics and repair and our friends at Top Speed have graciously shared the info with us.

ART is a new method of vehicle repair and service that will provide quicker repairs and more in-depth diagnostics. It is a human-sized robotic device that allows local Audi technicians to communicate with Audi of America engineers at Audi HQ — in real time, as if the two were side by side.

The robot can maneuver around the vehicle, inspecting parts using a borescope and a hand-held camera system. This will allow inspection of difficult-to-reach areas and parts of the vehicle. A video monitor will display the issues requiring repair and allows both the technician and engineer to see and communicate with each other. It is designed to give the local technician support with difficult repairs or uncommon issues that have cropped up with the vehicle. One hundred of these ART Robots will be distributed to dealers around the US in the hopes of cutting service times for complex repairs.

To use ART, the dealer only needs a Wi-Fi connection and a computer or tablet. The timeframe for dealers to receive ART hasn’t been released, but sometime this year is the likely approach.

ART is a remote controlled system that allows the service technician to converse in real time with an Audi Technical Service team member one-on-one. The primary operators of ART will be Audi Technical Assistance consultants and regionally based Technical Field Managers.

“ART was designed with both Audi technicians and consumers in mind,” said Brian Stockton, General Manager, Technical Support, Audi of America. “The device will give local service technicians valuable one-on-one interaction with their counterparts at Audi of America, which will not only benefit the speed and depth of service at the dealer level, but create an improved ownership experience for the customer in general.”

If the system proves to be effective, maybe other manufacturers will likely jump on board with their own robotic diagnostic and repair systems.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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