For the longest time, the car-buying process was universally disliked. You spent the entire day hopping from dealership to dealership, and when you finally found a car you liked, you had to negotiate the price. Car salesmen didn’t make things easy and some car buyers went home empty-handed.
Virtual Reality (VR) has streamlined car-buying and even car manufacturing. The technology’s immersive nature allows people to view and customize their preferred cars before purchase. And automakers who use VR save manufacturing resources, decrease driving risks and boost sales.
The automotive sector is one of the largest investors in VR technology, and here are the top 3 ways the industry is utilizing the technology.
1. Augmented Training
Vehicle manufacturing and maintenance are skills that were traditionally learned through repetition. After theoretical training, new mechanics and car engineers would get trained by experts to develop practical experience. And despite being supervised, the risk of error was high, and this affected worker safety, productivity, and profitability. VR makes training employees in automotive manufacturing plants easy.
VR devices allow manufacturers to train employees in a completely immersive virtual environment that helps them to learn quickly. VR apps can guide employees with visualizations, text, and audio, allowing them to learn at their own pace. This significantly reduces the time spent on training, and the resources required.
Thanks to Virtual Reality, workers can easily understand industry practices and make mistakes safely. This reduces the error rate and enhances the efficiency of training. VR allows new engineers to assemble vehicles virtually before they do it physically. It also teaches them how to handle dangerous situations.
2. Virtual Reality Showrooms
Car dealers usually have many cars for sale, but they have no way of showing potential buyers their entire inventory at a go. And while most dealers often provide online configurators which allow car buyers to customize different models online, the configurators use 2D, so the images aren’t realistic.
Brick and mortar dealerships usually have limited space, so it’s impossible to display many car models. Some have adopted VR to offer car buyers a highly realistic experience. Online virtual showrooms simplify the car-buying process, allowing buyers to customize the vehicles they want to buy. A prospective car buyer can walk around a car, take it for a test-drive, and even park it in their driveway without leaving their home.
VR technology helps car retailers to cut costs, reduce showroom space, and enhance the customer experience. It is a great marketing tool for boosting sales.
3. Vehicle Prototyping
Designing vehicles is a complex, expensive, and time-consuming procedure that requires continuous improvement. If design errors are detected late, automakers can lose huge sums of money. There may be product recalls or legal compensations.
And if the vehicle hasn’t been released into the market, the overall project cost may go up, causing a car manufacturer to spend a lot of money. VR helps prevent design mistakes. It displays true-to-scale models, helping engineers avoid poor design decisions.
Car engineers can reduce project cost and time-to-market by using virtual reality. Virtual reality prototypes are in 3D and true to size, so engineers can view and interact with them through VR headsets. They can get a better understanding of how vehicle parts are connected.
VR makes modifying prototypes or reverting to earlier versions quick and easy. It helps engineering and design teams overcome physical limitations. They can collaborate and change car features in real-time.