Feb 3, 2020
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
As 5G continues to roll out around the globe, innovations in extended reality (XR) are transforming industries and creating brand new ones. In this new series, we’re taking a look at different Qualcomm Technologies-powered XR devices and how they’re changing the way the world connects, computes, and communicates.
Whether it’s a complicated engine replacement or a simple bumper fix, collision repair technicians must navigate thousands of complex and ever-changing repair procedures to ensure proper and safe repairs of today’s complex vehicles.
Gone are the days of simple dent repairs – due to increasing electronics systems, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) safety technology , and innovative build materials, collision repair is a sophisticated process that requires the use of up-to-date information, specific to every vehicle make, model and year. Further complicating the process is that what repair technicians really need is to have the information available before and during the repair – meaning they need always-updated repair information in a convenient, hands-free format, usable while working on a vehicle. XR offers a solution.
“When we realized how much data technicians use during the collision repair process, and how much time it would save if we could deliver that data in a usable manner during a repair, we knew that there was something we could do here with extended reality,” said Umberto Cannarsa, Director of Product Management at Mitchell International.
Mitchell, a leading provider of technology and information solutions in the Property & Casualty claims and Collision Repair industries, developed an XR proof of concept that helps enable technicians to complete repairs faster and more efficiently, without ever having to open a manual, and the company chose an XR glass powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 Platform to do it.
Enterprise XR powers greater accuracy
With Mitchell’s proof-of-concept, the repair procedures currently integrated with Mitchell’s estimating and repair solutions can be overlaid on a technician’s XR glasses, within their field of vision, so they can see exactly what is needed during the repair, completely hands-free. For example, with damage to the front of the vehicle: after scanning the VIN with the glasses, the step-by-step repair procedures related to this type of damage and vehicle are displayed using Mitchell’s proprietary database, directly in the glasses.
The XR glasses will also help speed up the check-in process at a repair facility, as they automatically detect the vehicle’s make, model, and year via the VIN and begin populating the claim information. Additionally, we expect that the consumer’s insurance information and driver’s license may also be updated automatically. Finally, because the glasses collect data through each stage of the repair process, the repair facility is better able to provide quality assurance to their customers, allowing consumers to have confidence in the proper repair of their vehicle.
Beyond repair procedures, XR glasses will allow for a level of collaboration that hasn’t been possible in the collision repair industry until now. Currently, if a technician needs a second opinion, he might opt to reach out to a remote specialist, sharing photos via email and consulting over the phone. With the Mitchell XR glasses, however, the technician will be able to use voice activation to call the specialist and collaborate in real time. After accepting the call from a PC, tablet, or phone – or perhaps another set of XR glasses – the specialist can then see the technician’s field of vision and help guide the process. To make this collaboration a reality, however, not only are the glasses and the integrated repair procedures needed, but faster speeds as well. That’s where the Snapdragon XR1 Platform comes in.
“Qualcomm Technologies’ processor is very fast,” Cannarsa said. “And we see amazing battery life because the chipset is optimized for these devices, which means we don’t have to charge as often.”
Efficient battery life is crucial to the enterprise XR use case. Technicians need to be able to use the glasses for an entire shift, rather than recharging every few hours. And because the Snapdragon XR1 Platform supports Wi-Fi, the XR glasses can maintain a strong and fast internet connection when instructions are sent from the cloud.
The future of XR for collision repair
The collision repair industry is already racing toward the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in processing auto collision insurance claims. Mitchell’s XR glasses are designed for the eventual use of AI right at the vehicle. While companies like Mitchell are quickly changing that process to include AI models, taking it one step further--right to the vehicle itself--would dramatically streamline the process.
“The glasses will allow us to not only automatically capture all the key vehicle information, but ultimately are expected to evaluate the damage in real time,” Cannarsa said. Mitchell International's proof-of-concept XR glasses are an exciting next step for an industry that's beginning to see the utility of XR in enterprise applications.
“This is day one,” Cannarsa said. “We still have a lot to do, but the possibilities are incredibly exciting.”
Jump to 25:08 to watch Mitchell's EVP Debbie Day give her Snapdragon Tech Summit keynote on how the company uses enterprise XR in its workforce.