Headsets to be used for 12 months to aid automotive learning and prepare future technicians while showcasing technology transforming the aftermarket
The specialised kit, with a collective retail value of approximately £75,000, was donated to colleges to use for 12 months in a bid to aid automotive learning and prepare future vehicle technicians while conveying how technology is transforming the aftermarket.
The student event was held on the third day of the show, in partnership with Autotech Academy – a division of Autotech Group which creates paid internships for qualified automotive students with aftermarket employers – and Automechanika Birmingham.
Welcoming over 250 automotive students from colleges across the country, the programme included a series of competitions and presentations aimed at inspiring and educating students, arming them with the skills and knowledge they need for a future career in the automotive industry.
The event also focused on the technologies and innovations which are transforming the industry and will heavily feature within the careers of the automotive students who were in attendance.
The proliferation of connected and software-defined vehicles entering the market is already impacting automotive skills and knowledge. Technology will also support the aftermarket, helping to diagnose issues, streamline processes and supplement skills. Earlier this year, Autotech Group launched its latest division, Autotech Connect to help the automotive aftermarket navigate these challenges and effectively implement technology into their businesses.
As one of the world’s leading providers of assisted reality wearable solutions, and an official Autotech Connect partner, RealWear’s Regional Director, Derrick Sawyer, attended the show and facilitated the donation of the assisted reality headsets to colleges. “RealWear are delighted to support Autotech Group and empower the next generation of vehicle technicians to use the tools which will enable them to be the best version of themselves in their chosen career. We have already seen from some of the largest car manufacturers in the world that these devices are helping them to better serve customers.”
IMI already utilising the headsets to support end-point assessments and facilitate learning
The devices, which will help lessen workloads, supplement skills, and increase resources for the aftermarket, are already being utilised by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional body for the automotive sector. As Mark Armitage, FIMI, Head of Membership Products & Services at the IMI explained they have played an important role in supporting end point assessments and facilitating learning: “Over recent years we have been working closely with qualification and apprenticeship regulators and our IMI Centre Member network to identify technology-based tools to help improve the learner journey. Our goal is to remove onerous and manual administration and the associated risk of data loss, for the education workforce.
“The pandemic, and the need to better connect through digital solutions, accelerated our plans. In 2022 we worked with RealWear and Autotech Group to pilot use of the technology to better understand how it could support our IMI Centre Members. The assisted reality headsets have helped to convert the assessment, moderation, and quality assurance processes to a global, paper-free environment, delivering efficiencies in supporting and observing assessment activities.
“We are delighted to be part of this initiative; our IMI Centre Members have engaged in the pilots, and we continue to receive amazing support from RealWear and Autotech Group. I personally look forward to the next 12-18 months as we see the pilots implemented and the improvements that will be found in learner engagement and satisfaction. We’re also excited about the further downstream opportunities this tech will deliver for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining the highly technical, connected and software-derived vehicles that are on our roads today.”
Gavin White, CEO of Autotech Group, comments: “Technology has transformed mobility, and the progress of the industry, and the potential careers within it need to be conveyed and amplified to future generations of vehicle technicians. We formed our Autotech Academy division to help create a steady stream of talent into the sector, forging a link between educators and employers. However, the competition to attract and retain talent is still fierce and we need to showcase the progression of the industry, including the growing use of technology and AI to motivate young people and inspire them to complete their studies and forge a career within the aftermarket. We were delighted to co-host this event with Automechanika Birmingham and thank RealWear for making such a significant contribution.”
The Automechanika Birmingham show also provided a platform for Autotech Group to launch Autotech Connect - bringing all FOUR of its company divisions together for the first time in on stand J92.