Virtual reality

Virtual Reality is the biggest tech story this year, a bit like wearable gadgets were last year and 3D TV was the year before. And, of course, automakers are trying to use the technology in very fascinating ways.

Virtual Reality is creating its way to the dealers and the design studio, even into your houses, as more automakers look to innovative technology to help advertise, sell and design their cars.

Ford is working to develop a virtual reality platform that may see customers make use of headsets or visualize cars through progressive holograms at home. Ford already makes major use of Virtual Reality in style, a facility inside its design Studio, in Cologne, Germany, permits designers to fully experience a vehicle without the necessity for a physical prototype. Designers of the new Ford fiesta were able to experience and ensure location of car controls, dashboard layout and seating positions using the technology.

But currently it seems that the manufacturer may utilize showroom space more effectively with display cars created in hologram or VR form or turn customers home into a showroom, throwing into doubt a future requirement for traditional retail space. Ford confirmed that it’s presently exploring the potential of a range of virtual and augmented reality technologies to layer digital holograms onto the real world that could within the next decade enable individuals to interact with each aspect of products at their convenience, making an ideal “first date” test drive experience.

We envisage that in the future a customer may identify the model they are interested in – from the color, to the precise end of their interior and the time and place they would prefer to simulate. That situation may then be recreated on a bespoke basis,” said Jeffrey Nowak, global digital experience chief, Ford Motor Company. There really is no limit to the depth of detail because the chances are endless.

Virtual reality

He added: It really is a blank canvas. It’s simple to imagine that someone who desires to buy an SUV could experience taking that car for a test drive over desert dunes without leaving the comfort of their home, said Jeffrey Nowak, global digital experience chief, Ford Motor Company. Likewise, if you’re in the marketplace for a city car you’ll be at home, relaxing in your PJ’s and fit in trying out the peak-time school run once you’ve put the kids to bed.

According to Sheryl Connelly, Ford international trend, customers can be baffled by an awesome choice presented by virtual platforms, however. This might result in Decider’s Dilemma, she said, adding: With the internet, consumers face an abundance of choice – impacting their attitudes toward commitment. Products and services are adapting to accommodate a sampling society that prioritizes making an attempt over buying.

Seeming to suggest the requirement for a more tactile test drive experience, however, Amko Leenarts, Ford’s head of worldwide interior design operations, said:  People decide within 3 minutes if they love a product or not, and it’s a similar for your car. From the instant you get in, you form connections with the smell, the feel of the surfaces, or the sound of the car door closing and it’s very powerful if we as designers can help create the right experience for the customer.

Read also: Circular Runways


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