March 1, 2016
VIRTUAL REALITY COMING TO CAR SHOWROOMS
// USA TODAY
Imagine walking into a dealership where there isn’t a car. Instead, shoppers use a device like a tablet computer and are then escorted around their virtual car. It would be three dimensional and you’d be even be able to open car doors and take a look inside.
That’s what Accenture Digital, a business consulting firm, is working on with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
A prototype was just shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, based on Google’s Project Tango developer kit. With it, potential buyers would be able to use a mobile device to explore every aspect of digital car as a 360-degree experience.
Car shoppers can “walk freely around a full-scale vehicle in almost any environment because Project Tango enables an untethered, handheld experience that does not rely on external tracking technology such as markers, beacons or GPS,” Accenture says.
The first commercial Project Tango device is expected to be available this summer.
“Augmented reality is set to transform the way car-buyers choose and configure vehicles through the provision of immersive technology because it provides an enjoyable, delightful experience for customers,” said Luca Mentuccia, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Automotive practice. “We believe dealers and car buyers will be quick to embrace this enhanced way of buying a car.”