3D&AR
December 5, 2022

How augmented reality cars will impact the automobile industry

The AR VR automotive industry is growing rapidly. Augmented reality cars are here to stay, and they will make driving safer.

Key takeaways: 

  • AR is revolutionizing the automotive industry, and brands like BMW, Nissan, and Tesla are already investing in it
  • AR will help with car manufacturing, advertising, terrain mapping, and will also improve parking assistance and navigation
  • Self-driving cars will use AR tech to enhance ride safety

Augmented Reality debuted in the automobile industry back in 2008 in the form of advertising campaigns. First, the makers of the MINI CABRIO used the tech to make their magazine advertisements interactive. Since then, the AR experience has not only advanced, but has also become more popular.

The AR VR automotive industry will reach $673 billion by 2025, going by current trends. So, AR tech is set to change the future of the industry. And automobile giants like BMW, Tesla, and Nissan have already invested heavily in it.

5 ways AR will revolutionize the automotive industry

  • Automobile manufacturing: Today, automobile manufacturing entails manually drawing and testing various designs before production. AR technology simplifies this process by allowing engineers to develop a 3D projection of the vehicle prototype to test in different real-world conditions through simulations. This eliminates logistical bottlenecks and frees up time for designers and manufacturers. Not to mention, ditching physical prototypes helps companies save up to USD 10 billion annually.
  • Advertising: Car makers are integrating AR into marketing and advertising to make customer experiences more engaging. They are making buying a car an immersive experience through virtual showrooms.

For instance, brands like Porsche have already used AR tech to turn car viewing into a memorable experience. Customers can download the AR app and launch it to view different car models in their own garages, change model colors and specifications, and even have a virtual tour of the car interior.

Jaguar Land Rover integrated WebAR tech into its mobile ads. Customers could click on an ad to virtually sit in a car, interact with various car components, change specifications and book a test drive. Buyers engaged more with these immersive ads, and the campaign saw a dwell time averaging 121 seconds.

  • Terrain mapping: Car manufacturers are implementing an AR-based navigation screen for drivers to view directions and information about their surroundings, plus street and address names in real-time. This terrain mapping technology replaces navigation apps, and it even adjusts displaying information according to the vehicle's speed.
  • Parking assistance: A report revealed that at least 9% of parking lot accidents occur while reversing a vehicle. Such parking mishaps can be easily avoided with AR-based parking assistance technology. Instead of using a rearview mirror or camera to park safely, AR can project a visual representation of the vehicle compared to others along with distancing lines. This gives drivers a better perception of the parking lot and helps them park safely.
  • Passenger experience: As augmented reality car technology progresses, passengers can engage with their surroundings in novel ways while traveling. They can view information about their surroundings through a touchscreen-enabled window resulting in a more engaging commute.

Additionally, AR technology will reduce the need for adding electrical devices like entertainment screens. For instance, passengers can project media onto the windows through AR instead of switching on a designated screen for entertainment.

Augmented reality cars: How will AR change self-driving cars?

Makers of self-driving or autonomous vehicles often struggle with marketing to potential buyers how their vehicles work. Civil Maps, a start-up, solved this marketing problem by showing buyers how autonomous vehicles make driving decisions with AR technology. The company projected a vehicle's eye view consisting of wireframes detailing how a vehicle processes information. Such innovations make understanding self-driving cars more accessible, therefore improving sales.

AR technology also makes self-driving cars safer by projecting important information in the driver´s line of sight. This way, drivers can pay attention to the road and take control of the vehicle during an emergency.

Lastly, one can also use augmented reality car tech to test self-driving vehicles before they enter the market. Car manufacturers can simulate various real-world situations and check how well the self-driving car responds to them without risking lives.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW are spearheading the AR revolution in the automobile industry

In 2020, Mercedes-Benz released a new line of GLE vehicles that used AR to display navigational instructions over surroundings in real time. For example, drivers could view instructions, building addresses, and street names as they passed them, no matter the vehicle's speed. This feature not only helped drivers navigate roads during the day, but also helped with driving in low light.

BMW's newest iX models feature an app that uses sensor data and computer vision to show AR-based information, improving navigation. For instance, the app shows drivers turning maneuvers and lane recommendations. They also use the camera to detect parking vacancies and offer up information regarding parking costs and maximum stay times. Thus, the technology facilitates a more engaging driving experience with AR.

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