Audi and the ART of automotive maintenance

In a move designed to streamline the service experience and provide every Audi repair facility – and every customer – with
ART (Audi Remote Telepresence)
access to the company’s most experienced technicians, Audi has developed a new robotic diagnostic tool called ART (Audi Remote Telepresence).

The remotely-controlled ART robot uses cameras and a video monitor to enable Audi Technical Service teams to interact and converse with service technicians at local dealerships, even while physically in a different location. It displays the operator’s face on a screen while permitting the ability to move around the vehicle. An attached borescope and handheld camera allow the operator to further inspect engine components and other difficult-to-reach parts of the vehicle.

ART (Audi Remote Telepresence)
telepresence robot was developed by the Audi Technical Support team in conjunction with VGo Communications, Inc., a provider of robotic telepresence solutions for healthcare, education, and the workplace, and is the first automotive application of the VGo technology.

Compared to other VGo telepresence systems, the ART system uses a unique interface system developed for the special requirements of the automotive repair environment, and according to Audi it represents "the first step in Audi dealership telepresence." The Audi Technical Support team and VGo Communications are researching new tools and accessories to further improve ART’s capabilities.

ART (Audi Remote Telepresence)
technical assistance consultants and regionally-based technical field managers will be the primary operators of ART, and dealerships with an ART robot will only require a simple Wi-Fi connection for a remote Technical Service consultant to access the device using a computer or tablet.

“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,” said Brian Stockton, Audi of America’s general manager of technical support.

The ART system is being piloted at 18 dealerships in the U.S., but is expected to be rolled out to over 100 North American dealerships in the near future.

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