January 22, 2017
WE TAKE A TRIP TO THE RELAYCARS 5 VIRTUAL REALITY SHOWROOM
// TRUCK TREND NETWORK
VR APP GIVES PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS,
DEALERS AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT NEW VEHICLES
Earlier this week, we got a peek at what might be the future of car shopping when the brains behind RelayCars stopped by the office.
Using Samsung GearVR and Google Cardboard, RelayCars is a virtual reality app (now in its fifth iteration) that allows users to select one of more than 1,300 vehicles, then spin it, color it, and even “get inside” and look around the interior. Available for Android devices (the company says an iOS version is coming soon), RelayCars 5 also features a new Truck Portal that, you guessed it, takes the VR experience to pickups from every major automaker.
Unlike some other “virtual reality” experiences that are little more than a panoramic video, RelayCars is a fully stereoscopic showroom. Some vehicle models even have a build-your-own tool that allow users to select options, colors, and trim levels, although this feature has yet to spread to every vehicle in the app. In fact, since Truck Portal is a fairly recent development within the app, it’s one of the least feature-heavy places to spend time in RelayCars.
Still, the level of detail is impressive. RelayCars takes its imaging from Evox Images, which produces thousands of stock vehicle photos each year. That experience is evident with the high quality of the vehicle VR, particularly in the interior views. Virtually “sitting” in the driver’s seat, the imagery is crisp, realistic, and lifelike.
With RelayCars 6 on its way and expanded platform offerings, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the technology used more frequently to help customers get a feel for a vehicle without having to leave the house. It could be a valuable tool in any buyer’s pre-purchase arsenal.