Vroom Vroom: Virtual Reality In The Automotive Industry

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Even having gone through a rough patch, the automotive industry remains one of the most important sectors of the global economy. Car manufacturers are perpetually trying to make use of new technology so that they can produce the best vehicles. As computers continue to become more powerful, virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality technologies (AR) are advancing at a rapid rate. The VR/AR market has already become a billion-dollar market, and current growth projections lie beyond $120 billion in a couple of years.

At VR’s low-end market, bloggers from Google reported that more than 10 million Cardboard units have already been shipped. The product is designed to transform a smartphone into a VR viewer. Google have shipped more than 160 million apps for the Cardboard. There are also more complete commercial products, such as Sony's Playstation VR headsets, with up to a million units sold.

There is also the automotive industry to consider. CarInfotainment Systems’ app development market has projected growth of more than $35 billion by the close of the decade. Developers can start moving into cars as AR/VR continues to become the accepted norm. Creative minds can use this opportunity to win a share of the market using new AR/VR apps.

Autonomous driving is also on the verge of going commercial. There is a race towards self-driving cars that are good enough to be released to the public, engaging carmakers with the very latest tech. Google demonstrated the possibilities last year, when its Waymo car managed to drive autonomously for 5,000 miles. This information is available as companies carrying out tests in California are not allowed to hide their driving data from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Thanks to autonomous driving, car environments are likely to become more interactive.

Read on to see the manner in which VR/AR technology is assisting the automotive industry to deliver improved products, and services of high quality. The examples will be related to the industry, consumers and VR developers.

VR showrooms

When you start looking for a new car, under normal circumstances you need to interact with a dealership. VR is likely to revolutionize the buying process, because the technology will enable car buyers to experience the car prior to buying it. Major examples of dealers that have adopted this technology include Toyota who utilized ZeroLight VR, and Audi. This technology will enable car dealers to showcase their cars remotely, thus saving customers the chore of traveling to a dealership in search of a car.

Automotive VR for training purposes

VR can be used for training drivers to deal with different real-life scenarios. There are numerous ways in which this technology can be applied; for example, police chasing rule violators may use the tool to simulate how they can do it safely, without compromising the smooth flow of traffic and the safety of the public. Drivers in the medical industry can also make use of VR to simulate real-life situations. Ambulance drivers can learn how to safely deliver critically injured patients, without compromising their own safety and that of pedestrians. VR technology can also be used to train individuals who are just learning how to drive a car. Students undergoing driving lessons can use VR tools to learn about safety rules, and the best ways to deal with specific traffic situations which may be dangerous to deal with in real life.

Reconstructed scenarios

If an accident takes place, it is often difficult to ascertain what really happened. Carmakers can turn this around through the use of VR. Thanks to VR/AR technology, it is possible to reconstruct how an accident happened through simulation. The information can be used by insurance companies and legal agencies to deduce the actual cause of an accident. If there are eyewitnesses, their information can be compared with the reconstructed VR scenes. Carmakers can use the reconstructed events depicted in a VR environment to enhance the safety of their cars. This can prevent the repeat of the accident, or at least reduce its impact.

Public awareness and safety

VR can be a useful tool for educating the public about safety-related issues. Carmakers can use VR to come up with simulations of real life events that would be too dangerous to demonstrate. For example, VR can be used to simulate the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol, and the impact it can have on drivers. A number of companies, including Toyota and Diageo, have already demonstrated this. The former used its VR tool TeenDrive 365 to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving, while the latter used VR to demonstrate the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Self-driving cars

Many carmakers are trying their best to unveil reliable self-driving cars, focusing on safety, comfort, and speed. Incorporating VR/AR technologies into the manufacturing process can result in cars that are much safer. VR can be used for testing before the cars are released onto the market. This is thanks to various testing platforms available today.

VR/AR projects are quite numerous and they are becoming increasingly important.

You can browse Freelancer.com if you want to post some VR/AR projects which can be incorporated into the automotive industry.

Winning customer confidence

Customers tend to lose confidence in cars that are prone to accidents, or have poor safety track records. Car buyers often take into account the safety features of cars. The use of VR to test and ascertain the safety of a car prior to its release can enable carmakers to eliminate frailties. They provide simulations of how safe their cars are before they are released on the market. This will enable them to win the confidence of their customers.

The coming of VR and AR technologies are likely to extend the importance of the automotive industry by far. This tech is likely to revolutionize the automotive industry to a significant extent - there is no doubt a big transformation is coming.

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Đã đăng 21 tháng 8, 2017


Software Developer

Lucy is the Development & Programming Correspondent for Freelancer.com. She is currently based in Sydney.

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