At CES 2023, the technology show in Las Vegas, manufacturers and device makers showed how they are experimenting with the metaverse to drive or manufacture the cars of tomorrow.
Letting the driver immerse himself in a movie, selling cars in a virtual dealership, simulating the installation of a new part in the engine: several equipment manufacturers and suppliers showed at CES 2023, the technology show in Las Vegas, how they experience it the metaverse. With or without a virtual reality headset, metaverset invites you to immerse yourself in a new universe.
The French equipment manufacturer Valeo has thus developed a system that allows the driver or passenger to sit as if in front of a TV screen at home and interact with their environment, with a helmet, but without a lever or handle, thanks to the many sensors already present in machine that recognizes hands.
For those who might feel oppressed by full-face helmets, sensors installed outside the vehicle could allow pedestrians or scenery to blend in with virtual reality, explains project leader Ghaya Khemiri. And if the sensors have detected that you are stressed, the system can offer a relaxation session with soothing images and sounds.
At Valeo, “we are working hard on the electric car and on the autonomous car, we have our own sensors”, explains Ghaya Khemiri. “We ask ourselves what we can offer for user satisfaction.”
This system, still in prototype form, would initially be intended for passengers or drivers during a break, such as recharging an electric car. It can then be used by the driver in fully autonomous vehicles.
Film on the windshield
Holoride, a start-up backed by the manufacturer Audi, already markets a virtual reality headset intended only for passengers in the back seat of the car. The system is designed so that they can watch a movie or play a video game with a controller without feeling sick, the content is synchronized with the movements of the car. The company presented at CES a new version that can be used in all cars.
German manufacturer BMW presented a prototype in Las Vegas on Wednesday that is supposed to inspire the brand’s future vehicles, mixing the “real and virtual world”.
The group specifically mentioned the possibility of projecting augmented reality images on the windshield, such as speed or direction, or even transforming the entire windshield into a screen to watch a movie.
“We will have to wait a few more years before we see a fully immersive and interconnected metaverse, but mobility players can already derive real commercial value from purpose-built technologies,” says McKinsey, which published a days before CES. running until January 8, a report on the metaverse in the automotive sector.
For car sales, Fiat launched in December in Italy what the group calls a “seller in the metaverse” where customers can search for, configure and even buy a car online, with the help of a real-time assistant.
If technologies improve, including so-called haptic devices that simulate a sense of touch, consumers can “examine a highly realistic replica of a vehicle — opening its doors, touching its seats, speeding down a highway — as they would with a real machine. “, says McKinsey.
Faced with a broken down vehicle, a technician can help a customer make a simple repair remotely. Metaverse can also support the design of new products or make it easier to test a feature in different environments.
Alexandre Corjon, head of innovation for French appliance maker Plastic Omnium, came to CES specifically to explore the various uses the company could make of the technology.
Through metaverses, he can, for example, show the customer what a recycled material will look like in a specific form and thus “make the designer aware of the effect it would have” on the vehicle, he says. Or demonstrate the best performance of an innovation.
The group also plans to experiment in the metaverse towards management committees, which are sometimes difficult to unite due to the group’s global activities, and thus avoid travel.