The automotive industry is facing a number of challenges and opportunities in regards to Virtual Reality applications. There are different challenges depending on the region, but the main challenges are software and hardware costs, as well as time and skills involved in implementing it. There is a possibility that these costs could be a significant stumbling block for companies that are not global automakers.
A continuous improvement process is always being sought by the automotive industry. The automobile sector has been under pressure to speed up the development cycle and improve product definition accuracy as consumers demand more and more new products. Technology such as VR can be used to accomplish this. A more immersive customer experience could be offered by automakers with this technology.
Auto VR can be used to evaluate ergonomics, analyze manufacturing feasibility, train employees, and demonstrate showrooms. Self-driving vehicles can also be tested using this method to ensure their safety. Through the use of this technology, physical mockups can be replaced by virtual prototypes. By doing this, the number of adjustments that are usually required during the research and development process can be reduced.
In addition to hardware and software costs, there can be other aspects of the project budget that are important to consider. As Virtual Reality professionals emerge in the field, costs may decrease due to the emergence of more and more professionals trained in the field. Incorporating Virtual Reality and low-cost physical prototypes into the design process is the most efficient approach.
The product design process at Volkswagen, for example, is enhanced by virtual prototyping. A motion capture marker and sensors are used to simulate the motion of a car in its Immersive Vehicle Environment (IVE). It is possible for two employees to work simultaneously on the same mockup with these tools.
In order to provide technicians and workers with VR training, Ford has developed a VR tool. A virtual laboratory has been created for collaborative car design in real-time. Additionally, the tool can be used to train dealerships on how to sell the company’s vehicles.
The use of Virtual Reality in car clinics can also save automakers money. It can reduce the number of adjustments and reduce the cycle time. In addition, the application can eliminate the need for specialist resources to be on standby while the clinic is being conducted. The use of virtual prototypes is particularly beneficial for investigating vehicle differentiation.
One of the most important challenges involved in the application of Virtual Reality in an automobile clinic is visual-spatial quality. This is a key factor in achieving an effective Virtual Reality application. The quality of graphics and textures can influence the level of immersion in the analysis. For example, a lack of sound feedback can lead to the VR application acting more like physical evaluation. Similarly, the surface quality of a virtual object can negatively affect the way users perceive it.
Other uses for automotive VR include marketing and sales processes. In these cases, the technology can help OEMs reach a wider audience while demonstrating the future of a product. The technology can also assist with after-sales support.
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