by car or for production, the car projects itself into the metaverse

At CES 2023, Las Vega technology, manufacturers and equipment manufacturers showed how they are experimenting in the metaverse to drive or create the cars of tomorrow.

Letting the driver immerse themselves in a movie, selling cars in a virtual dealership, simulating the installation of a new part in the engine: several equipment manufacturers and suppliers presented at CES 2023, the show in technology of Las Vegas, how they experience the metaverse. With or without a virtual reality headset, the metaverse invites you to immerse yourself in a new universe.

The French equipment manufacturer Valeo has 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 surroundings, with a helmet but without a joystick or glove thanks to the many sensors that already there. the car that saw the hands.

For those who might feel oppressed by a full-face helmet, sensors installed on the outside of the vehicle could allow pedestrians or the landscape to blend into virtual reality, explains Ghaya Khemiri, the project’s leader. And if the sensors detect that you’re stressed, the system can offer a relaxation session with soothing images and sounds.

At Valeo, “we are working hard on the electric car and the autonomous car, we have our sensors”, explains Ghaya Khemiri. “We thought about what we could offer for the satisfaction of the users.”

This system, which is still in prototype, is initially intended for passengers or drivers during breaks, such as recharging an electric car. It can be used by the driver in fully autonomous vehicles.

windshield film

Holoride, a start-up backed by manufacturer Audi, already sells a virtual reality headset intended only for passengers in the back seat of a car. The system is designed so they can watch a movie or play a video game with the controller without getting sick, the content is synchronized with the vehicle’s movements. The company announced at CES a new version that can be used in all cars.

German manufacturer BMW showed him on Wednesday in Las Vegas a prototype that should inspire the brand’s future cars, mixing the “real and virtual world”.

The group notably mentioned the possibility of projecting augmented reality images onto the windshield, such as speed or direction, or even turning 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 emerge, but mobility players can already derive real commercial value from technologies designed for this purpose ,” said McKinsey, which published the previous day. of CES, which will be held 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 “dealership in the metaverse” where customers can search for, configure and buy a car online, with the help of a real-time wizard.

Remote repair

If technologies improve, including so-called haptic devices that mimic the sense of touch, consumers can “check out a highly realistic replica of a car — opening its doors, touching its seats, accelerating a highway – just like they would in a real car,” McKinsey said.

Faced with a broken down vehicle, a technician can help a customer make a simple repair remotely. The 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 equipment manufacturer Plastic Omnium, came to CES specifically to explore the different uses the company could make of the technology.

Through the metaverse, it could, for example, show the customer what a recycled material would look like in a certain shape and thus “let the designer know what impact it would have” on the vehicle, he said. Or show the best performance of a new one.

The group also plans to experiment in the metaverse towards management committees, which are sometimes difficult to assemble due to the group’s global activities, thereby avoiding trips.

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