For most people, the experience of buying a car can be a long and laborious process.
As research has shown, most people dislike dealerships and would definitely consider buying a vehicle online instead.
Now with many brands utilising Virtual and Augmented Reality, the car-buying experience is changing even further.
But despite the growing appetite for a digital experience, does VR and AR really address the needs of the average car consumer?
Or is it just a gimmick that appeals to technology fans and gamers?
In the run up to the Masters of Marketing awards, where automotive is always a hotly-contested category, here’s a look at how a few brands have been riding this new digital wave.
Audi has been exploring its digital offering for a while now. One of its biggest successes to date has been Audi City – its flagship store in London’s Piccadilly.
With its touchscreen tables and multi-display walls, it is a great example of how brands can bring the online world into physical stores.
Entirely interactive, it allows customers to configure Audi models however they like, and even view a life-size version on a large display wall.
Using Microsoft Kinect sensors, hand gestures control features like the angle, zoom, and size.
Now going one step further, Audi recently announced that it will be fitting all of its dealerships with VR technology.
Using either an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset, customers will be able to experience what it’s like to sit inside the car as well as view it from a free-standing position.
Though it certainly sounds impressive, I do wonder if this technology will actually improve or speed up the car-buying experience, or whether it will simply draw out what is an already lengthy decision-making process.
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