Anyone even vaguely involved in the auto industry will confirm AR/VR’s revolutionary impact. Every link in the chain is being rethought—production, design, navigation, education, customer experience, maintenance, and safety. Innovations are happening now and analysts are already predicting massive changes. Consumers will reap the benefits with more accessibility and options.
Mass marketing is dissipating amidst the rise of individual, personalized experiences. Stress, anxiety, and high-pressured sales are being wiped from the slate as well. People who are in the market for a new ride will have AR/VR at their disposal to make personal informed decisions from the comfort of home.
Automotive leaders are focusing their efforts towards tech-knowledgeable millennials—your mobile phone will transform your environment into a digital showroom in an instant with 360° video or a relatively low-cost VR headset. Personal configurations can be manipulated and selected in real time through the VR experience.
Buyers are only half the equation. Employees are also on the receiving end of the techno-cultural evolution. Workplace dynamics and efficiency are motivating big auto to incorporate VR/AR into their value system.
In a report curated by Mckinsey & Company, “Consumers want more connectivity, are focused on active safety and ease of use, and are increasingly using digital sources in making their purchase.” Expect to see the digital market boom by 2020 with all the major auto entities jumping on board.
The globalization of AR/VR will even out the playing field, germinating more innovation, newer ideas, and an endless supply of insightful ways to interact with the world. A redefining of how we drive is in order and there is no shortage of possibility.
To name all the automotive leaders with coals in the AR/VR fire would be a long list. Here are just a handful of examples:
Audi forged a reputation as one of the first automakers to be inspired by VR. Virtual tours of showrooms, digital brochures, and actual models immerse their potential buyers to new ends. Crack the hood, inspect the engine, or sit in the driver’s seat.
Cadillac is making moves to do away with a physical showroom and bring that experience into consumers’ hands with VR headsets. Digital blueprints buzzing with holograms and virtual models will enable engineers to create and edit prototypes on the fly.
Ford says design time will go from six years to three, rapidly increasing competition and value. Augmented reality will assist engineers in spot welding to maximize precision.
Nissan is taking this philosophy a step further with a new concept that enables customers to create their own car from top to bottom before driving it home. Personal customization of all options is now at our virtual fingertips. Nissan unveiled its idea of innovation at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Lexus proudly claims the title for developing the most advanced driving simulator in the world. Drivers are enclosed in a custom-built pod, surrounded by a 360-degree virtual environment. Housed in Japan, the simulator warehouse is the size of a football field and is able to produce driving experiences up to 188mph. Capable of monitoring drowsiness, thinking patterns, and driving habits, Lexus’ focus is on changing auto safety through innovation.
VW is taking heads-up displays (HUD) to a whole new level. Their “augmented H.U.D” will project your route on the road in front of you, integrated seamlessly with your every turn and lane change. You no longer need a distracting second screen. Production for this game changer is slotted for 2020.
Expect to see these trends grow at an exponential rate with more big league players incorporating their own interpretations of AR/VR. The automotive giants are not pushing the breaks on innovation, progression, and technological forward momentum – especially in their attempt to bring more user engagement to their brands.
These technologies are bridging the gap between consumers and how they interact with the products they choose to bring into their lives. AR/VR will put the consumer in the fast lane when searching for the perfect vehicle.