Headsets change driving
Helmet warns drivers of cyclists while virtual reality helps you configure your dream car
TWO car-makers have announced headgear that may yet change how we pedal and buy cars.
The first headgear was announced by Volvo last month. It is a helmet for cyclists that talks to cars around the bicycle so that driver’s will be aware there is a cyclist in the blind spot.
Designed and developed in collaboration with protective gravity sports gear manufacturer POC and Ericsson, Volvo’s concept helmet uses the cyclist app Strava to share the rider’s location to the cloud so that it can be accessed by Volvo vehicles. The app also flashes an alert light on the helmet should a car be on a collision path with the cyclist.
The other interesting bit of headgear was made by Audi and it aims to make buying a car like playing a game with virtual reality (VR).
The Audi VR experience gives customers the opportunity to configure their preferred car at the dealership through VR headsets and experience it in a unprecedentedly realistic way.
Luca de Meo, member of the board of management for sales and marketing at AUDI AG, presented the Audi VR experience on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show. A pilot of the VR car configuration technology has been run at three in dealerships in Brazil.
He said in a statement prospective buyers can “virtually take a seat behind the wheel of their individually configured dream car or take a look in the trunk”.
A camera tracks the movements of the user’s head and the system adapts the image displayed accordingly. The full spectrum of the Audi model range, with respective customisation options, can be called up: colours, leathers and inlays, as well as infotainment systems.
“The dealer is thus able to demonstrate the diversity of the Audi portfolio in a very convenient way and to provide individual advice to the visitor,” de Meo said.
Audi will roll out the VR sales tool in markets with high sales increase (read China).
As the VR tool becomes more common, expect dealerships to also demo cars while visiting the customer at home.
Volvo cars now keep an eye on any cyclists who my be panting away in the blind spot.
Audi Virtual Reality experience offers customers to ‘sit inside’ a car, and change its colour, cladding and optional extras. There is not talk yet of a virtual test drive.