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03/28/2018
  • As more consumers buy online, VR test-drives and showrooms offer new avenues to compare rides.

VR and the automotive world are gearing up for a perfectly-tuned match, with virtual test-drives and other experiential features right around the corner. As more consumers go online to research (87 percent) and potentially purchase (63 percent) their next car – according to an eBay Advertising study reported in Auto Remarketing – there comes a greater need to serve them through VR technologies and other immersive experiences.

In fact, in another eBay study on the Future of Shopping, 43 percent of respondents expressed interest in virtual test-drives the next time they were in the market for a new car. Ad Age sees virtual reality as a “sleeping giant” in the industry, coming to life as car brands engage VR creative teams to develop virtual showrooms and use VR advertising to reach tech-driven millennials.

Sam Russell, General Director of Global Chevrolet Marketing, is one leader who recognizes the potential of this new, immersive medium to serve and communicate with customers. Referring to The Human Race, a unique short film collaboration between Chevrolet, Epic Games, and Technicolor’s The Mill, he said: “The technology involved in producing this film [which included The Mill BLACKBIRD® and Mill Cyclops™] provides a glimpse into the future of customer engagement and could play a unique role in how we showcase car model options with interactive technologies like AR and VR.”

The automotive market is also one of the first industries to use VR and AR in manufacturing environments. This makes sense, in keeping with the industry’s early adoption of automation, robotics, and other disruptive technologies, according to Engineer Live, which wrote about one such example:

“Ford built its own immersion lab where designers, engineers and other employees can don an Oculus Rift headset and walk around exploring the exterior and interior of its cars [and] uses VR to test its designs and assess how individual elements of a vehicle look, without having to build a physical car.”

For a fast-look at where the future of the industry is headed, go behind the scenes of The Human Race.

 

 

 

SOURCES:

Auto Remarketing, “VR, Other Tech Perks May Become Crucial to Online Car-buying,” Feb. 20, 2017.

Advertising Age, Why Virtual Reality is Auto Marketing's 'Sleeping Giant,' July 18, 2016.

Engineer Live, “Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Manufacturing,” Dec. 27, 2016.