Technician Training Transformed Through Wearable Mixed Reality

Technician Training Transformed Through Wearable Mixed Reality

Penske Truck Leasing is delivering training in the most exciting ways. Through mixed (MR) reality training, we have the opportunity to make our virtual training highly interactive, cutting-edge, and more effective. The use of the latest equipment positions our company to be one of the transportation industry’s leaders in training technology.

In Q4 of 2021, the Penske training and technical development team implemented mixed reality training through the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens goggles along with the XRMentor™ platform.

Penske technicians live and breathe truck maintenance – and trucks are complex. Mixed reality brings together real-world and digital elements, allowing users to interact with physical and digital items, all in one place.

“We all learn by doing. Experiential simulation helps people comprehend, understand, and remember better, said Holly Gerke, vice president of maintenance training and technical development for Penske Truck Leasing. “Now, insert mixed reality training – where our technicians gain front row access. They experience exactly what their trainer sees.”

Through XRMentor, an instructor wears an MR headset to conduct training sessions. Trainees can tune in remotely, live or on-demand, via computer, tablet, or mobile device, and can see the trainer’s actions in addition to virtual overlays such as charts or truck parts.

The system displays the sensory requirements needed to have an effective training session – visual, audio, chat, PDF – everything a trainer would use in a live, in-person training session; it’s all encompassed into this mixed-reality space.

Penske aims to train 1,000 of its 9,000 technicians with XRMentor within the first year of having this technology. As more trainers are onboarded, that will scale; currently, about one quarter of the company’s technical trainers use the system. “Our initial focus is on entry-level technicians, with the goal to expand this training method to more complex skillsets,” added Gerke.

Exciting advancements are occurring in the trucking industry – from electric to driverless vehicles. At Penske, we focus on delivering a robust training platform for technicians to meet the industry’s dynamic environment, keeping pace with technology to produce the safest and most well-maintained trucks.

By: "Move Ahead" Staff