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The automotive industry is considered to be one of the world’s largest industries. The emergence of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) has compelled the industry to keep up with the changing consumer preference. Out of all the cutting-edge technologies, it is one of the most progressive tools that reputed augmented reality companies are using to get ahead of the competition. As per a report by Fortune Business Insights™, the market for augmented reality (AR) in automotive is set to reach USD 14.44 billion in 2028. The high demand for connected vehicles and the rising technological advancement would bolster the industry in the near future. As per the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), approximately 75% of the cars worldwide will be autonomous by 2040.
COVID-19 Pandemic Results in the Creation of AR-based Workshops & Showrooms
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the production process of almost every industry worldwide and the automotive sector is not an exception. As people are spending more on essential products, the demand for automotive has lowered dramatically. As per Statista, in North America, around 4,300 units were sold in the U.S. in April 2020. In 2019, the demand for cars in the region was only 2.5 million units.
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in the rapid adoption of AR by major automotive companies to meet various challenges. In April 2020, for instance, U.S. Porsche dealer partners started using Porsche Tech Live Look which enables technicians in workshops to connect with experts remotely through smart glasses at the occurrence of a complicated issue. Similarly, in May 2021, Adloid collaborated with Hero MotoCorp to introduce an AR showroom in India. The latter is set to provide customers with a 360-degree shopping experience.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, commonly known as BMW, is a leading manufacturer of motorcycles and luxury cars. It was founded by Karl Rapp, Camillo Castiglioni, and Franz Josef Popp, 105 years ago in 1916. It was considered to be the world’s fourteenth-largest motor vehicle producer in 2017. Some of its renowned brands are BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce, and Mini.
In April 2021, BMW introduced the BMW Virtual Viewer, its first-ever augmented reality tool in the U.K. It would provide a whole new way for customers to customize a BMW model, select, learn, and explore the organization’s Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Potential customers can easily operate this novel tool via web browser, without the requirement of downloads.
Founded in 1871, the company produces various automotive parts, especially tires, brake systems, chassis components, interior electronics, tachographs, powertrain, and automotive safety. Based in Germany, some of its other well-known brands across the globe include Euzkadi (Mexico/Latin America), General (US/Canada), Semperit, Uniroyal, AmeriSteel, TecnoTread, Mabor, and others.
In October 2018, for instance, Continental AG unveiled its latest Head-up Display (HUD) equipped with the unique waveguide technology for automotive. It was jointly developed by the company with a renowned expert in projection technology named DigiLens Inc. This HUD would allow large-area augmentation.
Previously named Daimler Chrysler and Daimler-Benz, it is an automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart. It is one of the leading manufacturers of trucks and cars globally. It was formed in 1926 with the merger of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. It has also produced numerous luxury cars featuring AR technology in HUD and service assistance applications.
In 2020, Mercedes-Benz, for instance, launched its new S-Class equipped with a luxury saloon that can be experienced with four senses, namely, scent, hearing, touch, and sight. It would also provide various innovations in terms of interaction, protection, and support. At the same time, it has a large HUD with augmented reality content for navigating.
Formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., it is a prominent electronics company based in Japan. Back in 1918, it was a manufacturer of lightbulb sockets. Apart from electronics, it also offers industrial, avionics, and automotive systems. Even though its sells almost all the products under the Panasonic brand, it unveiled the Sanyo brand in 2012.
In January 2021, Panasonic Automotive introduced a new augmented-reality HUD that can display objects in the road, lane edges, and similar other information to drivers. It is equipped with artificial intelligence and hence can share crucial data, such as determining if something is a trash can, pedestrian, or vehicle. The system can also adjust every element if the driver’s head is turned in less than 300 milliseconds.
The company was founded 53 years ago by Chung Ju-yung and is considered to be a multinational automotive producer till date. It fully owns two companies, namely, Ioniq and Genesis Motor, as well as 33.88% shares in Kia Corporation. It owns around 5,000 showrooms and dealerships across the globe.
In April 2021, Hyundai joined hands with Snapchat to unveil a new AR Lens that would enable users to explore the Hyundai Kona right at their homes. They can easily bring the vehicle into their homes by scanning a Snapcode or by searching for the lens in the Lens carousel. Similarly, in September 2018, the company invested in WayRay AG to develop holographic AR-based navigation systems for vehicles in the future.
Can AR Reduce Operational Costs and Create Larger Sample Margins in the Future?
Several mass-market brands are nowadays integrating AR into the functionality, sale, and creation of their vehicles. If it is used in the development of a responsive virtual testing environment, AR is likely to help in reducing operational costs, staffing, and physical models. This would eventually deliver more room for development and innovation by enabling a larger sample margin. Even better, AR is anticipated to provide the same levels of hands-on influence and access as in-office workers to remote teams. Mechanics and programmers won’t have to look under the hood to check for a problem as the virtual render of the car can be easily accessed in the future.