The company plans to invest in a number of hardware units that can simulate any electrical signal from any part of a car. They will be rotated between participating dealerships.
A BMW spokesman says the units will be used to give training in fault diagnosis. “Dealerships will be able to download a ‘virtual’ BMW or Mini with a fault inserted into it,” he says. “The purpose of the exercise is for apprentice technicians to try to identify the fault in an environment that mirrors ‘real world’ conditions.”
A learning management system will record the results to review progress with each technician as they move through the training programme. The pilot scheme will run for about six months, but will not replace other types of training.
“There is always a need for some face-to-face contact,” the BMW spoksman adds. “If the pilot goes well and we can prove the worth of it, we would use the face-to-face opportunities to reinforce the e-learning elements of the training. Through e-learning, we can potentially make our training courses shorter and more intense.”