Ford using camera headsets to speed up car repairs


The time-saving technology – which can slash repair and diagnosis times – is already being used in Australia.

Sam Purcell

Ford SWIS headset in use

Ford SWIS headset in use

Ford is equipping its workshop technicians around the world with camera headsets, in an effort to reduce downtime and improve efficiency.

The headsets – which live-stream audio and video – use technology known as ‘See What I See’ (SWIS), and can connect a technician anywhere in the world to Ford’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in Dearborn, Michigan.

The idea is that mechanics can get real-time technical assistance from experts at head office, and additional help in diagnosing faults and repairing vehicles.

Ford’s SWIS (See What I See) technology will likely be used on their most popular model, the Ford Ranger.

This can potentially save a Ford agent visiting the problem case in person, and slashing the time needed to rectify any problems or repairs.

The headsets are currently being used in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Australia.

Approximately 1200 headsets have already been activated, and Ford says it has conducted 350 video calls in the last 90 days.

For an indication of the effect the new camera headsets could have, Ford’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in Detroit normally fields around 5000 calls each week from dealer technicians across the United States, with 150 factory technicians manning the phones for assistance.

Of those, around 200 cases need to be followed up in person to achieve a resolution.

“SWIS definitely helps get our customers back on the road more quickly,” Susan Pedro, Service Manager for Ford in the US, said in a media release.

“We’ve had some wiring situations that we were able to fix in a few hours versus a few days using See What I See and that’s really valuable.”

Sam Purcell

Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.

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