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  • Writer's picturePaula Bruno

Revolutionizing the Road: The Impact of Virtual Reality on the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is making use of the cutting-edge technology of Virtual Reality to streamline their operations, design, and marketing tactics. The implementation of VR has resulted in improved efficiency, cost reduction, and elevated customer satisfaction. As VR technology evolves, it is predicted that more and more auto companies will adopt it to keep up with the competition.

Here are five examples of how VR is being utilized in the automotive sector:

BMW M2 Mixed Reality: A one-of-a-kind virtual experience for customers. By using a headset, customers can enter a metaverse created by BMW and take part in a blend of real and virtual driving experiences. They can drive a physical car on a real track and participate in an exciting virtual race in a VR world. A vivid demonstration of this can be seen in the video below:

Mercedes-Benz: Integrating VR into their showrooms, customers can virtually explore and personalize vehicles before making a purchase. They can also experience test drives in virtual environments for a more interactive and immersive experience. VR is also being utilized to create and test prototypes, cutting down on the time and costs involved in physical prototypes. Experience driving a Mercedes by swiping your phone, watching it in a VR headset (YouTube VR) or changing the view with the arrows on your computer in this video:

Audi: Using VR to simulate real-life scenarios and test their vehicles under various driving conditions, Audi can fine-tune their designs and make necessary improvements. VR is also being used to offer customers an interactive and immersive experience when exploring their vehicles, allowing them to customize and test-drive virtual models before making a purchase. At CES 2023, one of Audi's VR uses was demonstrated, allowing visitors to experience rides in the back of an Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback. Holoride technology adapts virtual content to real-time driving movements. For instance, if the car turns right, the spaceship in the virtual world flies right. By synchronizing the visual and felt experiences, holoride reduces motion sickness during multimodal gaming events in the car. This is illustrated in the following video:

Hyundai: At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (2019), Hyundai Mobis displayed a concept car equipped with the "Virtual Touch" system. With this technology, drivers and passengers can manipulate the interactive screen in the windshield by using hand gestures like pointing or waving. The car is capable of transitioning from manual to autonomous mode, allowing for the selection of entertainment options. Additionally, the car's facial recognition technology evaluates the driver's emotional state to adjust the lighting inside the vehicle, potentially avoiding accidents caused by inattentive or disengaged drivers. Hyundai plans to begin offering these features with its highest level of autonomous driving technology by 2025. You can take a look at this video:

Volvo: They are using VR technology in various ways to improve the customer experience and its business operations, including virtual showroom experiences, design and engineering, employee training, and customer-facing applications. Volvo, known for its commitment to safety, user experience, and smart prototype evaluations, has embraced Virtual Reality to further enhance its offerings. The company introduced the world's first mixed reality test drive, allowing drivers to sit in a real car and immerse themselves in a virtual reality-like experience. By wearing a mixed reality headset, drivers can experience a nearly life-like driving adventure on the road with VR overlay elements. Check out the video below to see this in action:

In conclusion, the automotive industry has embraced Virtual Reality technology and is leveraging it to enhance processes, design, and marketing strategies. From BMW's M2 Mixed Reality to Audi's virtual showrooms and test drives, the use cases of VR in the automotive industry have shown significant benefits such as increased efficiency, cost savings, and higher customer satisfaction. As VR technology continues to advance, it's expected that more and more automotive companies will adopt VR to stay competitive and offer their customers a more immersive and interactive experience.

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