The growing impact of VR in motoring
July 25, 2017 at 12:15 PM
Virtual reality is one of the hottest topics in tech now, and its applications go way beyond the popular image of gamers looking for the ultimate Game of Thrones experience via their personal headsets.
What might surprise you is that VR is even becoming relevant in the world of motoring. For a few years now, manufacturers have been using VR as part of their research and development activities in new vehicle design. But now, as VR technology has gradually started to enter the mainstream, you might soon see it in a car showroom near you.
Here, we take a look at how virtual reality can revolutionise the customer service experience and will make your next new car purchase a virtually unreal experience.
Taking a test drive
One of the most popular applications of VR is to take a virtual test drive. The idea of this facility being offered in new car showrooms is one that appeals to many new car buyers, but the possibilities do not stop there. With the growing availability of affordable VR headsets in the home, you could take a test drive without even leaving your sofa.
The beauty of this idea is that you can put the car through its paces using the road and weather conditions of your choice.
Spec your car
If you are not sure what type of upholstery you want or whether to get those additional cup holders, try each of them out in your virtual car to see which options appeal to you. You can even start from scratch and use VR to spec out your very own dream car, with the colours, features and accessories of your choice.
New product development
VR allows manufacturers to get a far wider range of customer feedback much earlier in the design process. Potential buyers can look all around the car’s interior and exterior and play an active role in various aspects of the new vehicle development process.
In case of emergency
When you take a test drive, it is all very well for the salesperson to describe how the vehicle would behave in the event of a skid. However, in the virtual reality setting, you can simulate any scenario, and this will really test out the car’s safety features and show what it can do.
Increasing road safety
VR applications are not restricted to helping car sales and informing buyers about the features of new cars. Some manufacturers have been using VR to increase driver awareness and test reactions via the popular Oculus Rift headset.
The program exposes drivers to a variety of hazards and distractions and assesses how well they react. As well as honing driving skills in a safe environment, it also gives a demonstration of the consequences of unsafe driving habits.
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