Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most popular technologies in modern times. The global VR market size is expected to increase from less than $5 billion in 2021 to more than $12 billion by 2024. The technology has been adopted by almost all industries, including the automotive industry.
VR can be used to train staff, reduce manufacturing and research and design costs, allow car buyers to test drive cars virtually, and boost car sales. Because of all the benefits it offers, top auto brands like Tesla, Toyota, Ford, and BMW use it. Let’s look at various ways this technology is used in the auto industry.
- Training Technicians
VR can be used to train technicians about vehicles and how they operate. Companies such as German automaker Volkswagen have been at the forefront of using VR technologies to train staff for years. By using this immersive technology, trainee technicians can learn much faster in a safe environment and the company also cuts down costs.
Auto manufacturers previously relied on an observation-based approach to train employees how to assemble particular vehicle models before moving on to practical training. This process resulted in a lot of errors. But thanks to VR, technicians can build a car in a simulated environment more efficiently without making costly errors.
- Virtual Prototyping
Like other manufacturing industries, the automotive sector heavily depends on prototype designs. But when working with physical prototypes, an automaker may incur a lot of costs, and this increases the overall design costs. VR cuts down project costs and time by enabling the design team to create virtual mock-ups.
What’s more, the team members can work from different locations and share ideas to improve the car’s overall design. Ford’s Immersive Vehicle Environment (FIVE) allows for virtual prototyping in an immersive vehicle environment. The technology has improved production timing and reduced costs.
- Virtual Showroom
Most people visit a physical showroom to test drive their dream car before buying it. Car manufacturers and dealers have incorporated VR into car-buying to help customers examine different car models and virtually experience how they operate. This technology influences customers’ buying decisions, helping them settle on particular cars.
Dealerships now use VR auto technology to allow potential buyers to view different cars in 3D using a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. VR also eliminates the need for dealerships to have large showrooms. Buyers can shop for cars from their homes or offices.
- Self-Driving Cars
The autonomous car market was valued at USD 20.97 billion in 2020. Auto manufacturers can use VR to test these cars during traffic simulations and soon it will be seen in Futuristic Cars. In a virtual environment, manufacturers can make mistakes without worrying about the consequences. There’s no need for human drivers during testing, and this reduces costs and shortens the testing period.
Virtual reality technology has become a necessity in the automotive industry. Most car manufacturers are using the technology in their operations to cut down manufacturing costs and save time. It’s also beneficial to dealerships and car buyers.