Virtual Reality in the Automotive Industry

Virtual reality has long since been associated with the gaming industry, although this is not a new concept, as it’s been around since the 1950s.


How is Virtual Reality Being Used?

Most people are not fans of dealerships, and would instead prefer to purchase their vehicle online. With the rise of VR technologies, this concept is now closer to becoming true – while it’s still not doable, the truth is that the experience of buying a car is already changing.

You will probably continue to have contact with the seller at the dealership, but you’re also going to be able to experience what it’s like to be sitting behind the wheel of a car even if you’re standing. An example of how this is done is through the Oculus Rift headset, which seeks to speed up the experience of buying a car.

Is This a Valid Concept?

Despite the innovation of these technologies, not everyone seems convinced of the benefits VR can bring to the automotive industry. They question whether it will appeal to dealership’s target audience or if gamers are the ones truly interested in VR – and whether VR can really meet the needs of their customers.

Because of this, some countries, such as Germany (45%) and France (33%), still prefer to purchase a vehicle by having strong face-to-face contact with the seller; others show interest in online digital experiences, and the VR experience that is already part of many dealerships is turning that into a reality.

A Virtual Reality Example

Audi is taking VR seriously. First they explored the idea of interactivity in their Audi City, the flagship store in London’s Picadilly. Through the use of Microsoft Kinect, the shop has touchscreen walls and display walls that showcase cars and their parts – and allows visitors to configure models the way they like and peek at all the different components.

And now their VR technology is soaring to new heights. To provide potential customers with an idea of how their cars will look and feel after the purchase, Audi partnered with Zero Light to produce high quality images that offer a realistic experience.

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