Great news for virtual reality and car aficionados, as two major companies partner up to enhance your car-buying experience. But what can you expect from the Microsoft-Volvo partnership promising the future of autonomous cars?
Right off the bat, the autonomous car they are promising is still a way away. What the partnership currently employs is using Microsoft’s virtual reality HoloLens headset in Volvo dealerships, in order to greatly improve their customers’ buying experience.
The main use will be letting the client test out various options and features the cars possess, ones that could not otherwise be explored.
For example, a client will be able to change the car’s paint job or perhaps even modify it according to his preference with only a few waves of their hand, so they can be sure they will be happy with the final result.
Other uses will be to show the clients some of the car’s features that would be impossible or unfeasible to demonstrate. For example, the clients could experience first-hand, from a sensor’s point of view, the forward collision braking assist system that the car employs. This would not be possible during a regular test-drive, says Chief Futurologist at Volvo, Aric Dromi.
Another use would be giving people who already own a HoloLens the ability to purchase a Volvo car from a pop-up store, selling points that would be available in areas where it’s more difficult to find a dealership.
Volvo’s head of creative strategy, Magnus Brodd, states that the HoloLens device will not intrude in any of the things you do, but it expands the reality around you, offering you more to do.
This has been the short-term part of the partnership. The long-term part includes autonomous cars, Microsoft claiming they are excited to start helping Volvo develop their self-driving cars.
A future Volvo project, called Drive Me, will give 100 users self-driving cars and allow them to be driven around in the vehicles in the Swedish town of Gothenburg. This project is due to be undertaken in 2017.
This is one of the biggest steps the Swedish company has ever taken, pitting them against competitors like Google, Apple and Tesla.
Would you trust an autonomous car? And would the new dealership experience determine you to purchase a new Volvo vehicle? How big of a step is this in the development of self-driving vehicles?
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