BUGATTI HAS FLYING DOCTORS... ITS AS CRAZY AS IT SOUNDS
When you're spending over $3 million on a car, you expect outstanding service. The Bugatti Flying Doctors provide that and more. Thanks to a tiny box hidden within the Chiron, they can receive telemetry data from your car in real-time - a feature normally reserved for Formula One or DTM racing cars. The system watches over 10,000 signals that cover everything from the engine to the infotainment system and alerts your Doctor if something's amiss. Typical maintenance can be handled via phone or at one of the 34 dealers and service partners worldwide, but if necessary, the Flying Doctor can order any necessary parts and catch the next plane to fix your vehicle in person. The company has three Flying Doctors responsible for Europe/Russia, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific, and North America, respectively, and all three are available round-the-clock, giving you peace of mind that your 1,500 hp baby will stay in top shape.
when the customer in the golf region received a call from molsheim in alsace, he did not know that the pressure in the front left tyre of his bugatti chiron was no longer ideal. however, the french super sports car brand’s service technician was already fully informed and suggested that he ought to correct the tyre pressure before his next trip with the 1,500 ps super sports car. he could do that despite working almost 6,000 kilometres away from the car. telemetry is the explanation. with the new chiron, data is even transmitted on a real-time basis – this feature is normally only implemented on formula 1 or dtm racing cars. all bugatti customers can benefit from this unique support for their vehicles – but of course only if they give their consent in advance. hendrik malinowski, director of sales and operations molsheim, bugatti automobiles s.a.s., explains: “this is a highly personal concierge service of the type you normally only find in luxury hotels.”
“Our customers have the most demanding requirements for individual support in all areas of their lives. That also applies to their vehicle fleets and automobile collections,” says Malinowski. “In this area too, Bugatti goes one step further than other manufacturers. With our telemetry system, we can provide our customers with assistance in all technical matters related to their Bugatti. At any hour of the day and, if necessary, also of the night.” Bugatti has many years of experience in this field. The super sports car manufacturer already developed this data transmission and analysis system which allows communication between vehicles and customer service for its first modern supercar, the Veyron 16.4. Since 2004, Bugatti has therefore been in a position to monitor the technical status of each individual Bugatti from the company’s headquarters in Molsheim.
Norbert Uffmann, who is now responsible for the development of the telemetry system at Bugatti, says: “At that time, we really broke new ground. Bugatti is the first automobile manufacturer to apply telemetry on a production vehicle. And we are still unique in this respect,” adds the 44-year-old communications technician, who holds a degree in electrical engineering, with a certain pride.
Uffmann has been working for Bugatti’s Technical Development Department for six years and played a key role in the further development of the system for the brand’s latest super sports car, the 1,500 PS Chiron. He and his team were supported by IAV. Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr, a long-standing development partner of Bugatti located in the North of Germany, which has been involved in the system right from the start.
The Bugatti telemetry system works mainly using mobile radio and monitors the operating status of each Bugatti. It is “online” round-the-clock seven days per week – provided that the customer’s vehicle is located in an area with mobile phone network. With the launch of the Chiron, far more data can now be acquired and recorded in a variety of different ways – permanently, temporarily with respect to individual events or limited to certain time periods. The system keeps a close eye on about 10,000 signals from all parts of a car, including engine, transmission, lights, air conditioning and infotainment system. As a new feature on the Chiron, the data is transmitted on a real-time basis, something that is normally only experienced with Formula One or DTM racing cars, where the race team mechanics can monitor their cars from the pits. Live data from any location on earth takes no longer than a text message to reach Bugatti. The Bugatti Flying Doctors do not need to closely watch their monitors.
If unusual signals are received from a vehicle, the responsible flying doctor receives a message on his mobile phone. This way, Customer Service receives the information needed to provide the best possible support for each Bugatti. This includes prompt answers to customers’ questions over the phone and long-term assessments of vehicles’ behaviour so that the flying doctor can prepare for his upcoming visit to the customer. The highly qualified technicians therefore know in advance which spare parts they need to order, if any, and can immediately place the necessary orders. Bugatti has three flying doctors, who are responsible for vehicles owned by Bugatti customers in the regions of Europe/Russia, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific, and North America. They are supported by mechanics at the company’s headquarters in Molsheim and at the facilities of Bugatti’s 34 dealers and service partners throughout the world. From the moment when a customer takes delivery of a Bugatti, the flying doctor is his direct contact for all technical questions. Often, a close relationship of trust is developed over the years.
The flying doctors are available round-the-clock and are ready to board the next aircraft in order to provide customers with the support they need either at the nearest dealer’s workshop or at their homes if it is not possible to provide advice over the telephone or the required results cannot be achieved in this way.
The telemetry system allows two-way communication, not only from the Bugatti to the customer service centre but also vice versa. Customer Service can transmit data to the vehicle in order to change configurations or, to a certain extent, to carry out software updates.