Virtual Reality

Audi introduces virtual reality headsets for car configuration

Audi is using virtual reality headsets at dealerships to help customers configure their cars
Audi is using virtual reality headsets at dealerships to help customers configure their cars
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Audi is using virtual reality headsets at dealerships to help customers configure their cars
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Audi is using virtual reality headsets at dealerships to help customers configure their cars

Only a few days ago we were mulling over what virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift might be used for other than gaming – here's another to add to the list. Audi has announced that prospective customers will be able don a VR headset and sit inside their virtual car-to-be as they configure it.

Audi says it will roll-out VR headsets for use at its dealerships. It will be possible to view the whole Audi range using the technology, and the company says it hopes that doing so will improve the experience of trying to configure a vehicle for those looking to buy.

Numerous vehicle customization options are said to be viewable using the headset, including colors, leathers, inlays and infotainment systems. Users simply need to move their head as if they're looking around, and the display in the headset will show the part of the car at which they would be looking.

As part of the Audi VR experience, the virtual reality headsets (the Oculus Rift DK2 is pictured in the press materials, but the company says it isn't yet known which headset will be doing the lifting) will be paired with Bang and Olufsen headphones so that users can hear the in-car environment as well. Audi says that users will be able to hear sounds like the cars doors closing and even the sound systems in its cars.

A pilot of the virtual reality car configuration technology has been run at three in dealerships in Brazil.

Editor's note: The story originally described the VR headset as the Oculus Rift, but Audi hasn't announced plans for any specific hardware. We apologize for this error.

Source: Audi

4 comments
S Michael
Come on... this is ugly... nobody will wear this...
Bob Flint
In the meantime Mercedes customers will get their cars delivered as they preselected them online from anywhere without having to actually waste time going into a dealership, much less wearing a electronic facemask...
kalqlate
Hahaha... the above two commenters clearly do not properly perceive the value of VR. @Bob Flint - Eventually, I'm sure that Audi, Mercedes, and ALL other manufacturers will allow potential buyers to experience the VR "presence" of being in and configuring their cars from the comfort of their homes with their choice of VR headset. Which would you prefer: looking at flat photos on a screen or having the true feeling that you are there inside of the vehicle? Such is the power of VR!
Richard Auchus
I think this would be a cool idea. Most online configurators, minus the ones of Porsche and Ferrari and a few others, are bland and not very interactive. If they did it well enough, being able to see in virtual reality a car that you want custom made for you before actually even ordering it would be an outstanding experience!