Nissan uses Mixed Reality for new Electric Vehicle
The launch of a new model or model update always possess challenges for automakers. They must worry about everything from vehicle production, maintance, and training. Now imagine the launch of a completely new line like an electric vehicle where no one has any experience whatsoever. Combine that with the existing shortage of workers in Japan due to a low birthrate and an aging society. Nissan found themselves behind this dilemma and how to navigate this pivotal time.
The launch of Nissans new Electric Vehicle at the Nissan Tochigi Plant in Japan centered around the new e-powertrain motor. While building a gas-powered car is like an electric vehicle, the electric e-powertrain motor felt like a foreign concept. Training the entire staff was a crucial part of the vehicle launch. Nissan found themselves asking how they were going to train everyone and remain efficient at the same time.
The answer was Mixed Reality, using Microsoft HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Guides transformed the way Nissan trained. Traditional one on one instructor led training turned into hands on self-paced training. Difficult to read and understand training manuals were swapped in favor of step-by-step instructions cards. This helped trainee grasp the knowledge, enhance knowledge retention, and shorten time to competency.
Some key stats include:
Reducing learning time by half
Instruction time reduced by 90%
Training period reduced from 10 days to 5 days
Instruction time reduced from 10 hours to 1 hour
The success was overwhelming. However, Nissan like any company wanted to ensure anyone who steps on the production line passed training with flying colors. The solution they implemented was to have each trainee record themselves and have a subject matter expert validate completion. This was another layer of protection to prevent someone from working on the line who was not proficient. Instead of an instructor waiting upon each trainee’s completion they had the recordings on demand to save the instructor’s time.
The key indicator of success was not the number behind performance. The key indicator of success was the overall feedback from the trainees and instructors. They found mixed reality and the headset easy to use and understand. The headset was described as a “welcomed addition” and made training an enjoyable process. The feedback has influenced Nissan to explore the use of mixed reality throughout their entire operations.