Tesla used to offer premium services when it sold the Model S and the Model X. After the Model 3 was born, Tesla Service Centers started to struggle with demand. Rivian seems to have learned from such mistakes when it conceived the Rivian Remote Care. With sensors and software, the company proposes to make servicing as easy and convenient as possible.
Rivian explained the idea on its blog. The central purpose behind the Rivian Remote Care service lies in monitoring each vehicle all the time. When anything becomes a concern, Rivian will proactively contact the customer to propose a solution. The clients will also be able to warn the automaker if they have any sort of issue with the Rivian app.
The main difference compared to how Tesla services its cars is that mobile service vans will be responsible for most of the repairs. The app will allow customers to schedule appointments and have Rivian Technicians check their cars. The Rivian Remote Care system would allow these professionals to have all the necessary parts for the repairs in advance.
If for any reason the repair cannot be done by the Rivian Technicians, that’s when Rivian Service Centers take the stage. Even in such cases, the mobile service team can handle everything. They take a loaner to you while transporting your Rivian to the location where it will be fixed. After your Rivian is ready, they bring it back to you. The company says it knows you have better things to do than to worry about maintenance.
In theory, this could be the best servicing strategy in the whole industry. In practice, we’ll have to see how the Rivian Remote Care really works.
As we mentioned before, Tesla owners were pretty happy with servicing until they had to compete with other owners for assistance. Rivian may be able to conduct things as it proposes with a few thousand vehicles on the streets. When it starts shooting for millions of them, things will get more complicated.
As many sensors as Rivians may have, they’ll probably not be able to detect strange noises due to manufacturing issues. They will also fail to predict if a rear bumper will fly away when the cars cross puddles or if roof bits or the entire roof do the same on the road. Sensors will also fail to detect paint issues. Intensive testing before deliveries and strict quality control may prevent all that. With the examples everyone has already seen, Rivian has all possibilities not to repeat them.