PMM Editor’s Viewpoint January 2019.
January’s front cover might seem a little off-piste. Regular readers are perhaps used to seeing a technician with tool in hand, or their head under the bonnet, or at least a depiction of a common job in the garage. This month’s futuristic snapshot, however, shows a technician using augmented reality to see through the car’s exterior to reveal the componentry beneath.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that such an image might be more relevant by the time the January 2029 issue of PMM goes to print, but is it really such a farfetched illustration of what is possible in a garage today? If the thought-provoking article starting on page 36 is anything to go by, then our cover shot is in fact less prophetic and more…reality.
Without going overboard with spoilers, said article discusses the impossibly clever technology that is already being used by some of the automotive industry’s leading lights. Indeed, the acronyms VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) are quickly becoming staples in the parlance of technicians at Germany’s luxury carmakers.
Before I get a barrage of angry emails saying that this is all very interesting, but it’s an unrealistic ideal that is implausible for the vast majority of independent garages, my point is that the absurdly sophisticated technology currently being harnessed by the likes of Porsche and Mercedes demonstrates what could be possible for independents in the near future.
On the subject of innovation and progress, PMM itself has never been one to rest on its laurels. The old faithful among you will no doubt remember the ‘Readerlink’ system that, until recently, served as a means for readers to obtain further details about a product or topic featured in the magazine. I am pleased to announce that the Readerlink service is back, but in a new and improved guise that befits 2019 and the digital world we live in.
You’ll notice that each article in this issue has a unique web address at the end of it, which starts with ‘rdr.link’. When typed into your web browser, the coded address will re-direct you to a specific page on the website of the company in question. It’s a simple, direct route to the relevant information online, and an alternative to trying to find out more via a search engine.
But don’t just take my word for it; try it for yourself!