According to Volvo and Microsoft one of the first automotive applications of Virtual/Augmented Reality will be the introduction of a new experience that will allow customers to virtually encounter, explore and buy a car.
Areas of future collaboration between the two companies could also include autonomous driving technologies and the utilization of data generated from connected cars to create new services.
During a demonstration conducted at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, USA, the companies showed how mixed reality might be used by customers to configure cars in three dimensions thanks to the use of HoloLens – the wearable computer that allows to mix holograms and images from the physical world.
“HoloLens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves. Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colours and wheels, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Cars.
He added that HoloLens technology might also liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments and allow them to take a car configurator out on the road in small Pop-Up stores, shopping malls or on the high street, opening up new sales channels and introducing cars to a far larger potential audience.
At the HoloLens demonstration, participating journalists were also given a mixed-reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium saloon, which will be unveiled in reality at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.