One day, augmented reality will likely become such a natural way of telegraphing information to drivers and passengers, looking at physical screens will feel like a quaint, distant memory.
The success of automotive companies directly depends on the launching of advanced technologies. In the last years, automotive industry experts agree that the near future of the automotive industry will be closely related to the use of AR technology.
Many cars now come equipped with so-called “head-up” displays, which project a car’s speed, GPS routes, and other information on the windshield ahead of the driver.
AR glasses will take that idea further, by projecting information over your driving view — not just in front of the car but in any direction you look.
The vast majority of leading car manufacturers integrate AR features in particular production and marketing processes.
BMW was one of the first to start using the augmented reality in the automotive industry. In early 2010, they demonstrated their HUD concepts.
In addition, in 2016, they showed BMW Vision Next 100 – the prototype of a widescreen head-up display using AR and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies.
In 2017, BMW launched its first virtual showroom. It was an AR app for smartphones, in which potential buyers could have a close look at the 3D models of BMW cars and get a unique experience of interacting with them.
Mercedes uses augmented reality to support the loyalty of their customers with the help of a virtual assistant – Ask Mercedes. It is a free iOS AR application in the form of instructional videos and manuals.
Ask Mercedes helps car owners to learn more about their Mercedes auto capabilities and their use. Moreover, in January 2018, Mercedes introduced the new progressive infotainment system MBUX, which uses AR and AI.
The system is fully adaptable to the needs of the user. The driver can choose what information he wants to see on a specialized touchscreen located in the field of view.
So far, this AR system is only available in Mercedes-Benz A-Class cars. Those who have tested this system already say it’s the most user-friendly of all that is available to drivers at the moment.
Education & Post – Purchase Care
A challenge for auto brands is to educate consumers on the technical features of a car after purchase. Paper manuals tend to rely on words and diagrams, which can limit a customer’s understanding of how their car works and how to maintain it.
You can let customers scan their car to launch a virtual technician. Customers would be able to see interactive 3D animations of how the engine works, how to change a tyre, how to top up brake fluid, and more.
These are hugely useful AR experiences for customers and could help reduce the time engineers spend fixing issues that customers could fix themselves.
Augmented reality can also help continue to engage customers post-purchase.
For example, we created an AR car game for Porsche. Launched from print collateral, users could race around the Gotthard Pass Track in augmented reality and record their best time. Similar fun AR experiences can be launched from brochures, direct mail, or any print collateral.