TecAlliance and Continental have developed a prototype of the first digital voice assistant for vehicle workshops as part of a joint innovation initiative. The innovative voice assistance system supports mechanics during the initial vehicle inspection. The companies are presenting the proof of concept at Automechanika Frankfurt.
The digital voice assistant is based on Cortana for desktop and mobile; it currently understands over 200 voice commands in German and English that control 24 different actions.
Users can also access 22.8 million labour times and 3.9 million repair instructions through an interface to the Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI) of TecAlliance, the provider of leading expert solutions for data management in the automotive aftermarket.
The digital voice assistant can be used primarily for vehicle inspection by the mechanic, but there is a wide range of potential applications in the workshop. The voice assistance system could utilise its full potential when integrated into a workshop management solution to display prices or spare part availability or transfer the completed order to the accounting department for customer invoicing. Building on experience, the experts at TecAlliance developed the prototype within three months.
“The availability of and access to vehicle and product information are crucial to a workshop’s success. The voice assistant enables workshop processes, such as vehicle inspection at check-in and access to relevant repair information directly at the vehicle site, to be further optimised,” explains Jürgen Buchert, Managing Director of TecAlliance. “The digital voice assistant is a good example of how we work together with customers to develop innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the digital automotive aftermarket. These innovation initiatives have the potential to flow into new business models,” says Buchert.
For Continental, the voice assistance system is an innovative component of its digital offensive for vehicle workshops. “We are sure that easy access to knowledge and efficient processes are decisive for the success of a workshop. Digitisation makes both much easier, and that is why we are working hard to make these advantages accessible to aftermarket workshops,” says Matthias Rödler, Head of Business Process Development at Continental.
The technology company is currently working on several innovative concepts for the digital future of vehicle workshops.
“We are always trying to find out how innovative technologies from the B2C sector can be transferred to B2B with real added value,” explains Rödler. “The collaboration with TecAlliance has been very inspiring, and the implementation was prompt and professional.”
For the automotive supplier, the future role of the digital colleague in the automotive aftermarket and whether it will be equipped with an interface to Continental’s “Remote Vehicle Data Platform” will depend on the reaction to the new product at Automechanika, among other factors.
The proof of concept is on display at the Continental stand (Forum, Stand A03/05) until September 15 2018 for anyone wishing to experience the voice assistant live.