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Mercedes-Benz USA, Microsoft Redefine Auto Maintenance

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) announced a transformational collaboration with Microsoft that redefines automotive maintenance and the way service technicians work, leading to an enhanced customer experience and greater efficiencies in communication and employee safety.

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As the first mixed reality automotive maintenance system, Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, powered by HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, allows onsite dealership technicians to work handsfree sharing real-time views and sounds of the vehicle while talking with Mercedes-Benz technical specialists. The remote MB specialists can provide valuable insight and technological guidance to help complete complex maintenance issues in record time, without ever leaving their office.

“This is a massive shift in the way we do business — helping us to serve our customers more quickly — and is especially timely with the new realities of COVID-19 and our desire to keep employees safe,” said Christian Treiber, vice president of customer services at MBUSA. “Today’s vehicles feature more than 100 million lines of software code. Through our partnership with Microsoft, we have a new paradigm for technology support and communication that helps our dealers and technicians master the complexity of these vehicles while eliminating travel time and onsite visits. It’s like having an expert on your shoulder.”

The Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support: enhances customers’ experience, providing faster service turnaround, and decreases the time it takes to resolve maintenance questions, increasing the productivity and efficiency of dealer technicians. In times of COVID-19, it creates a remote work environment without eliminating the important collaboration between remote and onsite technical experts, and reduces the environmental impact of service-related travel.

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“I’m thrilled by the transformation made possible by our partnership with Mercedes-Benz USA. By leveraging HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Mercedes-Benz USA has seen rapid time to value, moving from proof of concept to broad deployment in a matter of months,” said Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president, business applications and global industry marketing, Microsoft. “Microsoft is honored to be part of Mercedes-Benz USA’s disruption of the automotive industry and change the way they provide services for their customers.”

How it Works: We See What You See

Whether simply inspecting a vehicle to make decisions about body repair or to solve more complex situations that require a collaborative diagnostic plan, with Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support, the onsite technician puts on the HoloLens 2 headset and has immediate, real-time support from Mercedes-Benz technical specialists anywhere in the United States. Leveraging Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, the remote specialist can see exactly what the technician is seeing at the dealership.

Working in a mixed reality environment, it is an immersive experience where they both can view intricate 3D images and holograms, see where changes need to be made, annotate the visual information, add documents, insert arrows, circles and more all to highlight areas on which to focus.

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“We save so much time not having to go back and forth, uploading information, asking questions, waiting for a response,” said Matias Scolnik, shop foreman at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, one of the 12 dealerships that piloted the technology. “To get cars back to the owners — diagnosed, fixed, washed and ready to roll — in a fraction of the time, this has a huge impact on our ability to provide excellent customer service.”

Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support was recently rolled out to all 383 dealerships across the U.S. to great applause, the company said.

More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.mbvans.com.

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