The automotive industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and it’s also one of the most competitive one. Apart from innovations like self-driving cars and electric vehicles, the industry is proactively adopting VR-based solutions to gear up with the ongoing technological trends.
Whether it’s a car maker or an automotive component manufacturer, VR solutions can provide a gamut of benefits to companies in this industry. In fact, a report by Fortune Business Insights suggests that the global VR in automotive market will grow at a CAGR of 45.1%, reaching over $14 billion by 2027.
There lies a tremendous scope of VR adoption and integration in the automotive industry. Let’s explore how and where VR can be deployed in the automotive sector.
When it comes to the automotive industry, nothing gets people more excited than the latest models of their favourite cars. But what if there isn’t a dealer nearby? Or if they don’t have the model you’re looking for?
With online shopping on the rise, a Cox Automotive study found that 64% of car buyers would consider purchasing a car online. A service like VR would give these buyers the opportunity to see exactly what they’re buying.
With VR technology, automakers can create digital showrooms that give viewers an immersive experience and the ability to view their latest models up close and personal without having to physically visit the showroom.
Audi, the automotive giant, has already taken steps to bring this idea to fruition with its Audi City virtual showrooms. The company has set up these showrooms in London, Berlin, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, and Moscow where customers can interact through VR headsets and explore every aspect of a car before purchasing it.
Design validation is a critical part of the automotive production process. It involves everything from rapid prototype development to crash test simulations. These procedures help to ensure that a company’s products are not only marketable but also safe.
But these validation processes can be expensive and time-consuming because companies typically have to build physical prototypes and test them over and over again. In fact, automakers cumulatively spend $10bn every year on prototypes.
With VR, designers can quickly create virtual prototypes of their designs and validate them in real-time before manufacturing them. Hyundai Motors is the latest in a long line of companies to jump on the VR bandwagon. The company believes that the use of VR will help them cut costs and time-to-market. The company’s executives confirmed that they have been using VR for designing and prototyping before going into manufacturing.
Manufacturing cars is no easy task — there are numerous processes involved with each vehicle. Not only do they have to be produced efficiently but they also have to adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety, or the company risks legal repercussions, not to mention the loss of their reputation.
VR can help automotive manufacturers train their employees in a safe environment before setting them loose on real-world tasks. With VR simulation, automotive companies can create digital twins of the desired vehicles and then train their workforce in an idealistic manner. Not only does this make training more efficient but it also greatly reduces the risk of mistakes and errors that might otherwise occur in production and assembly of the vehicle.
As a matter of fact, in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its production line, BMW launched a VR-based training program that puts trainees in a virtual assembly line. Also, VR training data has helped Ford reduce injuries on its assembly line by 70%, by making improvements to its assembling process.
Even the best cars will eventually need some kind of service or repair. And while mechanics and technicians are trained to handle all kinds of repairs, there’s no substitute for experience or the ability to consult an expert when something goes awry.
This is where VR comes in; using virtual reality technology, on-field technicians can receive support from experts remotely for quick and guided assistance. This helps them diagnose potential problems and make repairs easier by providing augmented information related to the car’s parts that need to be repaired or replaced.
Imagine that you are an automobile manufacturer. You have released a new model of your car and want to promote it. What if you could take your customers to a virtual test drive before the car is actually manufactured?
VR lets you do just that. VR allows the automobile manufacturer to interact with the customer and showcase the new product in a way that was never possible before. This helps provide superior buying experience to the users thereby increasing the possibility of making a sale.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that we’re at the dawn of a virtual revolution. As VR becomes increasingly accessible, automotive companies are finding new ways to use it that push the boundaries of what people thought was possible.