Holographic and Augmented Reality technology, advanced robotics and 3D printing of car parts are just some of the high-tech innovations that experts predict will become a feature of car body repair shops in the future.
Forget what you know, it’s going to be more Tom Cruise in Minority Report than Danny Zuko in Grease with repair centres becoming hives of technology more akin to a laboratory than a workshop.
Holograms will no longer just be a fantasy in films like Iron Man and Star Wars, with the technology set to be used to help mechanics to accurately repair car problems.
Likewise, holographic and augmented reality technology will be built into vehicles to enable drivers to fix minor problems at the roadside with assistance from professional mechanics remotely.
Working with Thatcham Research, DG Cities and the Women’s Engineering Society, Direct Line has highlighted the exciting new technology that the industry is embracing. According to the research, the top ten innovations that experts predict will be a reality in auto repair centres by 2050 are:
1. Holographic and Augmented Reality technology
2. Advanced robotics to assist with manoeuvring and adjustment of vehicles
3. 3D printing of car parts to improve turnaround time for repairs
4. Ultra-connected workshops
5. Hyper clean work areas akin to laboratories
6. Self-diagnosing cars
7. Video communication technology for mechanics to speak with customers
8. Advanced laser welding
9. Space saving car storage
10. Innovative staff training areas for mechanics to learn as technology evolves
Diagnosing problems could become as simple as the car itself telling the engineer what the issue is – sometimes before anything has even gone wrong.
Waiting for a spare part to come into stock at a garage will become a thing of the past. Thanks to on-site 3D printers, mechanics will be able to create replacement spare parts in an instant.
Professionals also foresee that driverless cars may even be able to drive themselves to the garage to be checked, meaning people won’t even need to leave their home to get a MOT. Instead, customers will be able to speak with mechanics via video calls.
“It’s really exciting to think that holographic and AR technology, advanced 3D printing, and connected vehicles that allow mechanics to find the route of a problem quickly, will begin to become a reality,” Felicity Harer, the Motor Network Technology Specialist at Direct Line Group said.