Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the Automotive Industry

When you think about the future of the automotive industry, scenarios with self-propelled cars or electric vehicles come to mind. But there is also great potential in other innovation technologies. Immersive media, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, will fundamentally change the automotive industry and are already beginning to redefine the customer and employee experience.

Some car owners with head-up displays already know them, the navigation instructions directly on the windscreen. These are the first step in an augmented driving experience. Augmented Reality will conquer the vehicles in a few years. With the help of artificial intelligence we are informed in real time about sights and special features on the route, appointments, entertainment and communication merge into a seamless AR experience. What still sounds like science fiction will become reality in a few years. Digitalization and innovative power make it possible. In the automotive industry, immersive media offer some potential.


Virtual test drives

E-Class 360° VR test drive through Munich (Source: Mercedes Benz Munich)


A test drive in a car is always a great thing. You experience a completely new experience, the smell of the new car takes you completely. But the biggest problem with new cars is that you rarely sit in your final vehicle. This is where Virtual Reality can help. Interested parties can sit directly in their vehicle and experience the ride. With multisensory support in the car dealership or by clever technologies, a test drive of a special kind is created.

Rides through beautiful landscapes in the new car support the purchase decision even more. Virtual Reality manages to sell a car with three-dimensional effects and good storytelling without it having to be present.

This means that the future buyer does not necessarily have to visit a showroom, but can go on an exploration tour directly from the living room with the help of the corresponding application.


Production with AR and VR

Microsoft HoloLens: Partner Spotlight with Ford (Source: Ford/Microsoft HoloLens)


Production within the automotive industry is predestined for technologies such as augmented or virtual reality. Be it in the training of employees while they are assembling a new car for the first time or during prototyping. Immersive technologies make it possible.


Customized contents

BMW’s Mini augmented reality glasses are the future of car tech (Source:


Future developments in technology will also change the driving concept. The already mentioned headup displays are only the beginning. Real-time content will be even more closely related to the driver’s environment. With the breakthrough of smart glasses as an alternative to smart phones or displays, nothing stands in the way of creativity in the automotive industry.

Even though the AR and VR market may still be quite small, both technologies have a great future in the automotive industry. In the coming years, the market share will skyrocket and open up many new opportunities for the automotive and entertainment industries.

The future will show where the path of immersive technologies in cars will lead, but what we have already seen so far, we are heading for an exciting future.



Post Picture: Microsoft HoloLens

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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