1. How does the automotive industry benefit from AR technology?
AR technology is implemented in the automotive industry in every aspect: design, production, manufacture, maintenance, etc. It’s giving the industry the biggest transformation ever witnessed. Here are some AR applications and its benefits for car manufacturers.
AR technology is penetrating the car industry?
We can certainly presume that AR technology has already penetrated the car industry. A majority of car manufacturers are bringing AR technology to production and marketing.
BMW is one of the first companies in the automotive industry to take advantage of AR technology. In 2016, they exhibited BMW Vision Next 100 – a prototype of a head-up screen generated with AR and AI.
In 2017, BMW opened their very first virtual showroom under the form of a mobile app. Customers can get a close-up view of BMW cars in third dimension and interact with them.
Mercedes used AR technology to enhance customers’ driving experience by developing an intelligent virtual assistant – Ask Mercedes. Ask Mercedes is a user's manual as a mobile app. It helps the owner to get used to the car functions and provides answers to their questions.
In January, 2018, Mercedes developed MBUX infotainment system using AR and AI. The system is flexible to customize in order to suit the owner’s needs. Owners can choose any feature on the wide-screen cockpit.
Up till now, this type of AR system is only exclusive for Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Customers claimed that it is the most user-friendly system out of all AI assistant ever created.
Cars can be complicated to operate; even certified mechanics have a hard time figuring out without the help of technology. And so Volkswagen created Marta, an AR software aimed to assist workers with car repair and maintenance.
Volkswagen implemented AR Space in car designing. A projector will display some AR designs onto real-life cars so customers can decide if they look good and make adjustments to fit their desire.
Mitsubishi Viet Nam utilized AR technology to develop Pajero Sport 2021, offering users and potential customers a test drive with AR technology. Users can feel exterior, interior and updated features of the Pajero Sport and they can drive in AR landscape stimulations.
In 2015, Volvo collaborated with Microsoft Hololens on their project to implement AR n in car manufacturing and retailing.
With the help of AR technology, Volvo has proved how safe and reliable they are, by giving customers a transparent view of the cars’ internals and functions. AR technology has helped Volvo to optimize car manufacturing process. At Volvo, workers can get guide and technical information from Hololens, which enables them to check documents easily without getting distracted from the workflow.
2. What’s made the need for AR technology spike up in the automotive industry?
This is only prep steps for augmented reality car market for the next big step, is taking over the manual automotive market. More and more car manufacturers start to implement AR tech in car production as they can see a lot of potential in it. Smart and convenient are the ultimate standards for every single car. But now, customers expect to see advanced safety system, navigation assistant and features that can minimize driving faults.
AR HUD windshield meets all aforementioned requests. According to Market and the Market research, in 2017, the head-up car market was 760 million USD worth. It is predicted that in 2025, the number will reach 11,838 million USD and take up the biggest proportion in the AR automotive market.
With the potential of the display technology market, car manufactures are concentrating in developing HUD and sensory stimuli. Head-up display screen often shows pictures in small size and low resolution. This causes pictures to look blurry, for example in bright sunlight. In addition, AR technology is limited to show full potentials with pictures looking that small.
Car manufacturers are working on developing HUD on car windshields, as well as sensors to alert drivers about traffic and potential risks.
3. What change is AR technology bringing to car manufacturing?
AR technology helps to deal with the heavy work such as design, manufacturing and maintenance.
A. Reduce time, budget on design and prototyping
The problem of designing and prototyping is the need to build physical figures. AR technology allows you to overlay virtual elements on physical objects. Usually, car manufacturers use SAR (Space Augmented Reality) to project images on physical car models. Using a projector is a convenient and budget-friendly way to integrate AR technology into the design and prototyping process.
In addition, car manufacturers use AR goggles to designs vehicles. The cost is more expensive, but the results are more precise and more likely to be implemented in practice.
With the help of AR technology, you can easily arrange the work of designers on a project with any level of difficulty. Any adjustment can be made directly during discussion. Every change is seen immediately by everyone involved in the project.
Thanks to the use of AR technology, the cost and time to develop a new design is reduced. Therefore, top automotive manufactures including Volkswagen, BMW and Ford take advantage of this tech for their design and prototyping process.
B. Optimize car assembly
Assembling a car requires absolute precision and full attention to the details. Even a certified operator needs to go through technical books and documents during the assembly. Any distraction can slow down the workflow and cause mistakes.
Automotive manufactures are trying to implement AR technology to optimize assembly process.
Every important technical information, step-by-step guide or tutorial video is displayed on intelligent AR goggles. Workers can demand any necessary feature using their voice. No work gets interrupted. Hence, using AR goggles can make the work more comfortable for assembly workers, speed up the assembly process and minimize man-caused mistakes.
C. Assist technicians in car repair
Automotive companies such as BMW, Porsche and Land Rover use AR technology to help technicians finish complicated maintenance and repair much faster. The most obvious application of AR technology in car repair is interactive guides and step-by-step tutorials.
Manual books are now available as mobile app or display on AR goggles. Using a tablet is more cost-saving. However, AR goggles can effectively reduce the amount of time spent to repair.
In addition, with the help of AR technology, you can contact technicians from remote service center. In July 2017, Porsche launched such AR program called Tech Live Look.
This is how AR works: A technician wears intelligent AR goggles, through which the service center receives a real-time view of everything the technician sees.
The application of AR technology dives deep into the automotive industry, serving people who drive them and people who make them. AR technology helps customers choose the right cars. Equipping cars with AR technology makes driving safer. AR manual book allows users to maintain the car themselves, even if they know nothing about engines.
Automotive companies are also using AR tech to manufacture cars. With the assistance of AR technology, they can optimize car prototyping and assembly process. AR also helps mechanics to repair their car quickly and precisely.