The entire end-to-end process for automobiles, including design, production, sales and even marketing, will be significantly impacted by AR and VR technology. Arun Krishnamurthi, MD and CEO of Axiscades Technologies Ltd., explains how that transformation is already in progress and how it will play out in the future.
Luxury cars have always had an advantage in futuristic technologies, primarily employed in the American and European automotive markets. However, with the introduction of 5G, which allows for high-speed data transfers with low latency, and support from the government, the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality is accelerating at great speeds in a world where smartphone and internet penetration was already extremely high owing to the pandemic.
If you aren’t a motorhead, there are fair chances that the thought of car maintenance makes you shudder, and even changing your oil can seem like a huge feat to accomplish. AR can considerably alleviate this strain. When a check-light flashes on the dashboard, the driver’s typical response is to call the mechanic. However, AR has made it possible for the owner of the vehicle to simply scan the barcode shown on the dashboard and receive an explanation of precisely what went wrong.
Technologies like interactive manuals that include step-by-step instructions and video assistance eliminate the need to refer to and understand the owner’s manual. Augmented Reality can also be used as apps or virtual assistants that relate to basic troubleshooting and repair. A major auto manufacturer could remotely communicate accurate visual instructions to field technicians using AR glasses, thus saving cost and time.
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The automobile industry is constantly looking for engineers and a labor force with the right skills. It can be very effective to use VR tools and simulators to deliver proper professional training that is more efficient, helps learners retain more knowledge, and creates a safer training environment.
For example, if VR is used to train operators, the need for spare, expensive machines is removed. They gain knowledge on how to repair vehicles without having to remove the actual parts simply by using simulations instead. The automotive market’s use of AR and VR in training is expected to grow at the highest CAGR compared to other applications.
Most clients have encountered the difficulty of visiting a car dealership with few models, colors and additional feature options. This problem is tackled by a digital showroom, which integrates realistic 3D visualizations of the vehicle and enables clients to interact with it through both physical and virtual mock-ups. Using AR and VR makes even the process of customization and interior or exterior upgrade so simple that it seems like designing an avatar in a game. Your clients can see the changes they are making to the interiors and exteriors in real-time and make modifications as per their choice, allowing them to make decisions more quickly and conveniently.
All you need is something as simple as an AR app for smartphones to do everything from choosing a car’s color and wheel design to taking a test drive from the comfort of your home. In addition to promoting faster sales conversion, this gives customers a better experience and enables them to participate in the design process to some extent.
Smarter and Safer Vehicles
Customers are looking for better safety features and navigation aids to reduce the possibility of any human error, which makes smart design one of the absolute requirements for any modern car. Development of innovative smart accessories like AR-enhanced rear-view mirror that can identify a blind-spot threat and reflect a live video stream of it into the rear-view mirror and system of mirror-integrated cameras that can create an unobstructed panoramic vision of everything behind the car are major innovations in this field.
Additionally, AR leverages HUDS (Heads Up Display) to provide traffic information, navigation support, weather data, and vital performance alerts. In order to read an instrument cluster (such as GPS navigation), even for a few seconds, you need to take your eyes off the road, which can lead to a dangerous situation. A head-up display (HUD) shows the information exactly where you need it – in front of your eyes, directly on the windshield in the driver’s field of view. Currently, automakers are developing sensors that can convey real-time data about the status of the car and environmental elements, as well as full windshield HUDs.
Moreover, new drivers can practice driving with the help of AR and VR, only taking on the road once they are proficient enough. Likewise, it is assisting individuals who do not own a vehicle in honing their driving abilities. A large alcohol business confronted people with the consequences of drunk driving by employing virtual reality.
Designing and Prototyping
A major American automaker employs virtual reality to see the vehicle from the perspective of persons who are shorter or taller than average, allowing them to understand different points of view and design appropriately. And this is just one example of how manufacturers are utilizing AR and VR. Designers can assess various design options and make adjustments using projectors that overlay suitable AR images on actual car models. They can also use augmented reality to set up collaborative work that is visible to all participants and incorporate changes during the course of the discussion.
Bench testing has an alternative method thanks to VR. Electric vehicle (EV) makers benefit from virtual prototyping since it enables them to test a new car’s entire electronic system without relying on real hardware. They build a digital twin of the cars, allowing them to experiment with the design while lowering the development costs.
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Automobile manufacturing is a dynamic industry that rests on accuracy. A simple mistake here results in substantial losses. Augmented reality is being used to make the assembly of cars more efficient. Workers on the assembly line receive instructions and the necessary technical data on the AR glasses display, allowing them to review documentation quickly without becoming distracted from their process.
Wearables provide crucial information right in front of your eyes, within the facility, on top of the equipment, assisting you in choosing the proper spare parts and tools and providing live advice supported by step-by-step audio-visual instructions superimposed on top of the actual equipment. Thus, increasing the comfort for those who work on assembly lines, speeding up the assembling process, and reducing human error. This method can increase accuracy to 96%, and work can become 30% faster.
The global ecosystem for AR and VR in the automotive industry was valued at US$ 195.7 million in 2018 and is projected to rise to US$ 1,216.0 million by 2023, at a whopping CAGR of 41.8%. It’s safe to say that the automotive industry is putting the pedal to the metal when it comes to technological innovations.
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