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How VR & AR technology is transforming the automotive industry

Damian Collier / a month ago

Changing The Car-Buying Experience 

Remember the times when the only way of choosing and purchasing a car was to trek from garage to garage, endlessly pacing around forecourts and haggling with salesmen? Fortunately, once the internet came along we were able to browse online from the comfort of our home, reducing the wasted journeys to try to find the vehicle that matched our criteria. 

However, even with a selection of images and vehicle statistics available online, it’s fair to say that this isn’t the most inspiring of experiences. For most people, a car is a high-involvement, high-cost purchase, and also represents self-expression – so all the experiences surrounding it should be reflective of that. 

With the use of Augmented Reality, car-buyers can now view vehicles in 3D from all angles without physically having to go and see them. Providing a realistic 360-degree view of a car, both inside and out, as well as being able to experience the way it drives, consumers are now able to make complex decisions, without having to step out the door.

The technology has already been implemented by multiple car brands. Using Augmented Reality apps, Land Rover, Audi and Porsche are all using these digitised methods to showcase their vehicles in new innovative ways, anywhere and anytime. From experiencing a driver’s seat view of the vehicle, positioning the vehicle on your driveway, racing on digital ‘Hot Wheels’ style tracks in your living room or even customising the trim and interior, customers can begin to personalise the vehicle and make key decisions from their mobile device. With research finding that 59% of consumers rely on personalisation to influence their shopping choices – the automotive industry can capitalise on these new techniques to provide a more engaging experience to consumers. 

Even before new models are released, the likes of Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover have utilised AR technology in their showrooms, to give customers a sneak preview of what is yet to come with immersive 360 degree content that showcases the new vehicles. Supporting the launches of the brand’s new vehicles, virtual interactive displays are available in store, helping customers gain a clear perspective of the latest car and its key features. 

Improving Manufacturing and Engineer Efficiency

With Augmented and Virtual Reality, we’re also able to gain added insight into design and manufacturing techniques for the automotive industry which wouldn’t have been available before. This is particularly useful for manufacturers and engineers, who can use these simulations to make their processes more efficient and cost effective.

By making use of these alternative approaches, those in the industry can reduce costs and time spent on fixing vehicles or developing prototypes, by being able to envision the model and parts more pragmatically. VR and/or AR can be implemented during the design phase to help visualise a product and trial different alterations, without having to spend the time and money creating physical prototypes. 

Jaguar Land Rover has used VR with advanced tracking and projection facilities to help design their upcoming models. Now at their Virtual Reality Centre within the Gaydon Design and Engineering Complex, Jaguar Land Rover operates three-dimensional virtual reality to help visualise vehicles in full when in the design process. By generating a 3D model for every part of a car before it is passed to the next stage, it allows the manufacturers to conceptualise the vehicle as a whole to see how it all fits together. 

Alternatively, engineers can take advantage of AR to highlight technical issues in cars, which has been done by the likes of Porsche, Range Rover and BMW. Complex tasks can now be viewed by the technician through simulations, making it easier to identify and fix a problem area, in turn making the process more streamlined. 

Talk to us today to discuss how VR and AR can be used in automotive projects at hello@blend.media