Delight users, help sell, design and test new products...

The Auto Industry Enthusiastically "Embraces" the Metaverse

  【Technological Innovation World Trend】

  ◎Our reporter Liu Xia

  The Metaverse is a virtual space on the Internet where users can operate their "avatars" (network avatars) to interact with others or participate in activities.

Nvidia, one of the world's largest artificial intelligence and graphics companies, predicts that 2023 will be the year many car companies start integrating their operations with the Metaverse.

The automotive industry will soon begin incorporating the metaverse in its industrial operations and retail, adding immersive experiences and more interactivity to increase customer appeal.

  Nvidia's predictions are becoming reality.

The Physicist Organization Network pointed out in a report on January 8 that at the 2023 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently held in Las Vegas, the United States, drivers were allowed to watch movies on self-driving cars, Dealers use "virtual" car dealerships to sell cars, let engineers simulate the adaptation of new parts... There are many signs that the auto industry is enthusiastically "embracing" the metaverse.

  make users happy

  According to the Physicist Organization Network, one of the devices exhibited at CES is an in-vehicle TV system developed by French component manufacturer Valeo Group that does not require a remote control.

When wanting to change the channel, the driver or passenger wearing the headset only needs to simply wave his hand in the air, and the sensors on the car can detect this action.

  For those who don't like full-on headsets, sensors on the vehicle's exterior can incorporate actual pedestrians or landscapes into virtual reality images, said Gaya Kemiri, Valeo's head of the project.

And, if the sensors detect that a person is stressed, the system can provide images to help her (or him) relax.

  “We’ve been doing a lot of work on electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and sensors, and we’ve been thinking, how can we better delight users? Combining with the Metaverse might be a good solution,” Kemili said. "

  The company's system, which is still in the prototype stage, is initially intended to be used by passengers or drivers during breaks -- such as when charging an electric car -- and then used by drivers on the road once the vehicle starts to drive fully autonomously.

  Similarly, Holoride, a start-up backed by German automaker Audi, has begun selling a virtual reality headset for rear-seat passengers.

The system lets users watch a movie or play a video game with a controller, and syncs the virtual reality content with the car's movements to prevent nausea.

A new version that Happy Trips unveiled at CES can be used in any car.

  Also at CES, German automaker BMW showed off a concept car that combines the "real and virtual worlds."

The advanced head-up display system of this model can cover the entire windshield with projected content, and even turn the entire windshield into a screen for watching movies.

  Help product sales

  “While a fully immersive, interconnected metaverse is years away, mobility players are already able to start from the get real business value from our technology.”

  In December, for example, Italian carmaker Fiat launched what it calls "a metaverse store" where customers can research, configure and even buy cars with the help of an online assistant.

The new store was developed by Fiat in partnership with Touchcast and Microsoft, and users don't need virtual reality headsets, headsets or any other special requirements to access it.

  If technology continues to improve, particularly "haptic" devices that simulate the sensation of touch, consumers could virtually "look at a very realistic replica of a car, open the doors, feel the seats, Accelerate into the highway, just like operating a real car. If the vehicle breaks down, the technician can also remotely guide the user to make simple repairs."

  design or test product

  Metaverse also helps in designing, manufacturing or testing new products in different environments more conveniently.

  At this point, Nvidia said that the implementation of Metaverse tools and related "digital twin" technology - the creation of a digital "clone" of a person, object, process, etc. on a device or system will allow automotive companies to monitor The entire production process of its vehicles, so as to propose improvements.

The design process will also benefit from this integration, allowing it to create and collaborate in a virtual space to present the product in a realistic way.

  Some companies have already adopted this technique.

For example, French car company Renault launched its industrial metaverse in November 2021, saving the company $330 million with metaverse-related technologies.

BMW also launched an "Industrial Metaverse" in December last year, and built a virtual factory in Shenyang, China - Lida. , Design, construction and operation are presented through the whole process of the industrial metaverse model, which shortens the construction progress of the Lida factory by half a year and avoids 50% of engineering changes caused by design defects in actual construction.

  Alexandre Coljon, head of innovation at French parts maker Plastic Omnium, said Metaverse would allow customers to see how a recycled material might react in a particular form, and show designers how that would affect a vehicle. impact, it can also demonstrate the superiority of a new product.

The company will also try to use Metaverse for its global management team meetings, saving them the hassle of travel and travel.