The automotive industry is home to some of the most impressive and exciting technological advancements of the last century. But with each new feature and enhancement, the owner’s manual grows in size and complexity. And if you’re not a car enthusiast, even the simplest of car maintenance tasks can be very overwhelming.
Well, thanks to the advances in Augmented Reality (AR), thumbing through the manual in a state of desperation could be a thing of the past. AR car repair apps may seem like something ripped from the pages of science fiction, but they’re already making the complicated inner workings of the modern automobile easy to understand.
In this article, we take a quick look at some of the best examples of Augmented Reality car repair apps available today.
Top Examples of Augmented Reality Car Maintenance
Some of the world’s most recognisable car brands have jumped aboard the AR bandwagon, with plans to replace instruction manuals with innovative and immersive AR car maintenance smartphone apps and wearable technology. Here are the 5 examples that caught our eye:
1. BMW Augmented Reality Car Repair
First mooted back in 2009, BMW’s proprietary AR smart glasses are still under development. However, bits and pieces have slipped out over the years; enough to make us very excited at the prospect.
It’s likely that, before making the glasses commercially available, this AR wearable will be used by BMW engineers to help them maintain engines and identify issues. The idea is that by wearing these glasses, you will be able to glance over a BMW engine, and parts of it will be highlighted in different colours, allowing you to spot common mechanical problems.
For example, it could pair with your specific vehicle, and highlight the fact that you need to change your oil. It will then guide you through the step-by-step process with instructions and AR graphics.
See the prototype glasses in action below.
2. Microsoft HoloLens for Augmented Reality Car Repair
Microsoft look to have stolen a march on Google with the release of Hololens – a viable and commercially available (to developers) AR wearable device. In the fullness of time, we fully expect Hololens to be sold as a consumer device that will interact with other Microsoft technology, such as the Xbox and the Surface Pro.
In the meantime, we’re left to dream a bit about its potential use in car maintenance. Not only do we envisage a similar use to the BMW glasses mentioned above, the Hololens boasts cutting edge networking capabilities, meaning it could in theory link to a remote mechanic who will be able to see what you see. They could then troubleshoot in real-time, guiding you towards a solution – ideal if you’re stuck by the roadside in the middle of nowhere!
Take a look at a Hololens Car Repair concept below:
3. Hyundai Virtual Guide
Hyundai is a name synonymous with innovation, with a reputation that far exceeds the automotive industry. However, we’re here to talk about cars, and Hyundai’s often boast the most up-to-date and exciting features. And true to form, they’re also dipping a toe into the world of Augmented Reality with the Hyundai Virtual Guide.
The guide is an AR smartphone application that Hyundai owners can download and use to learn more about their vehicle. Instead of thumbing through a dense instruction manual, users can simply point their phone at their car and view the overlaid digital information. This can help them perform simple maintenance tasks such as oil changes or topping up wiper fluid.
You can also use the app in the interior of the car – ideal for helping you get to grips with your new vehicle dashboard.
The app is currently available for 2015 and 2016 Hyundai Sonata models (excluding hybrids), but we expect this sort of app to become the norm as the technology continues to improve.
See it in action below:
4. I-Mechanic – AR Car Repair App
For all other car models, look no further than I-Mechanic. This AR car repair app offers a similar level of guidance to the Hyundai app, but for a diverse range of models.
Using your smartphone or tablet, you can view handy AR graphics overlaid onto your real-world engine in real-time, helping you pinpoint important aspects for maintenance. The app helps you check oil and coolant levels, while guiding you to refill fluids and restart a dead battery.
And if all else fails, it can also direct you to the nearest auto parts store or mechanic.
View the demo in action on a Ford Fiesta below:
5. Genesis AR Manual
If we told you that luxury car brand Genesis was owned by Hyundai, then the fact that it’s releasing an AR app to replace its conventional owners’ manual should come as no surprise.
Available for free from both the App Store and Google Play, the app is compatible with the 2017 G80 and G90 models. The company surveyed existing consumers to identify the most desirable features, and came up with 135 how-to videos for simple car maintenance tasks.
The app helps owners get to grips with the car’s features, explaining how to pair their phone via Bluetooth, how to use cruise control, and what the warning indicators mean. Meanwhile, the AR capabilities allow the user to point their smartphone or tablet at the engine and receive step-by-step instructions to help check the oil level or top up washer fluid.
And the app also contains a full electronic version of the manual, saving the company on print and paper costs.
See it for yourself below:
From an environmental standpoint, replacing the paper owners’ manuals with AR applications makes complete sense. However, the most exciting part of this development is the fact that even the most novice of car owners will be able to confidently take matters into their own hands when faced with a minor maintenance issue.
Augmented Reality car repair will also make the lives of mechanics easier. Wearable devices such as those described above will allow them to diagnose problems and identify engine parts during car manufacturing and maintenance completely hands-free.
All in all, we’re very excited to see where the automotive industry takes AR next.
How Can AppReal Help?
Our dedicated team of AR app developers are up-to-date with the latest Augmented Reality trends and technology, using Apple’s ARKit and Android’s ARCore to produce industry-leading apps for a diverse range of clients.
And with an extensive level of experience in custom app development, we’re ready to bring your amazing AR car repair app to life.
Knock your brand into a higher gear and stop your industry in its tracks with a brand new Augmented Reality application – contact us today to speak with one of our AR app development experts.