Virtual Reality is a pedestrian term you hear of every month, however, the chances are you have underestimated how big this market is. The pace at which the Virtual Reality is making a name for itself in the commerce sector is too fast to limit into words. Gaming and education have been a key area of progress, whereas a lot of Research & Development has taken place under other businesses.
The Michigan based company Ford has been investing in Virtual Reality for automobile for over a decade and a half, beginning 2000. Big brands like BMW and Audi have also geared up to bring Augmented Reality to the mainstream consumer. Audi plays a strategic move by involving the maximum sensory organs of the human body. Theirs is an upscale VR experience where the customers can move around the car and see its experience while sound effects in the backdrop add more life. The customers can also distinguish between minor changes in different variants of a model including color, inlays, etc. Toyota’s Teen Drive 365 safety campaign is a successful attempt at ensuring driver safety. The motorists face real driving challenges and test drive while coordinating their movements.
Using the Oculus Rift, Ford has developed its century old business while incorporating Automotive Development [Forbes]. Ford’s Immersion Lab is a key area through which a person using the VR headset can roam around to check out a car and walk around it. His friends can see on a screen what a user can experience through the VR.
Until now, the technology that prominently aided the research and was an underdog is being used to improve the user experience and satisfaction. A customer now has varied options to test drive any car anytime. An automobile company doesn’t have to roll out numerous test drive models, nor is the use of manpower for test driving needed anymore. The same staff can be better used to engage the clientele. A survey by Woodstock Motors reveals that 48% of the drivers in a study want Virtual Test Drives in showrooms. 52% of potential buyers look forward to checking out the product online [VRFocus].
The autonomous car industry expects positive feedback wherein VR is used in the cars. The salesman’s job becomes simpler as VR promises better chances of sale after a VR demonstration of the motor cars, motor bikes, etc.
In June 2017, KTM recalled its latest launched model Duke 390 and Duke 125 bikes in Europe due to issues pertaining to the headlight turning off without a warning. This expenditure of time and effort by the employees and glitches faced by the consumers can be reduced when Virtual Reality is imbibed right from the buying model to the ‘service time’. The manufacturers can release the prototypes of their upcoming roll-outs without bearing the marketing and low selling costs of the products. Such a method also improves getting a feedback from the customers. Marketers would also approve of this strategy where the customers feel valued and heard.
Like the movies, automobile manufacturers can release teasers and trailers of their upcoming models bragging about their latest integrations in the updated versions. Broadly, VR in automobile combats the economic constraints, provides flexibility and comfort to the buyers, reduces the chances of failure of a product, gives the opportunity to the companies to work on the feedbacks, and avoids instances like repealing of the vehicles. Virtual trips prove more engaging, refreshing and give a freshly brewed experience to the potential buyers.
VR in Motoring coexists with other leading developmental changes in line. The technology can drive great traffic towards showrooms. Fasten the belt, get set, and vroom!