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VRAR HAS BECOME A POWERFUL ENGINE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Driving, entertainment, learning to drive, car building, car repair, VRAR has become a powerful engine for the development of the automotive industry in driving, entertainment, learn driving, car making and car repairing.


In 2021, China became the world's largest auto consumption market with sales figures of more than 21.48 million vehicles. And the major auto companies are doing their best to promote product sales. In recent years, the use of advanced technology to improve users' driving experience has become a battleground for auto companies.

So how many application scenarios does VRAR have in the automotive field? Which companies are on the road to perfectly integrating VRAR and the automotive industry? Why is VRAR technology deeply favored by auto companies? We'll find out in this article.


VRAR + Car Driving, Safety Maximized

At present, VRAR technology has 4 major application scenarios in the automotive industry including driving, entertainment, training and manufacturing. Let's start with the first one.

The application of VRAR in car driving can be said to be the most common among the four application scenarios. Both driver-oriented driving and system-controlled automatic driving have VRAR technologies.

Definition comparison of various types of driving

When it comes to driver - oriented driving, AR technology has made outstanding progress, and the most important achievement is AR-HUD.

AR-HUD, that is augmented reality head-up display system, which is integrating augmented reality into the automotive head-up display system. The HUD (Head Up Display) system refers to the important driving information such as speed and navigation when we drive, which is projected onto the windproof glass. In this way, we can avoid switching back and forth between the road ahead and the dashboard when driving, which greatly improves the safety.

Comparison of the three HUD forms in the automotive industry

As can be seen from the above figure, the car's head-up display system experiences the transition from C-HUD (Combiner HUD, hybrid head-up display) to W-HUD (windshield-HUD) and now AR-HUD. Compared with the former two, the biggest feature of AR-HUD is the superposition of navigation and actual road information, which is more directly displayed. In terms of display scope, content, effect and projection distance, AR-HUD can also give real-time road danger warning and forecast road conditions.


Domestic and foreign auto companies have made a lot of progress in this field. In September 2020, Mercedes-Benz S-Class released AR-HUD system for the first time in the industry, and the new car was launched  in China in January 2021. Domestic manufacturers are not far behind. In December 2020, Hongqi's E-HS9 was officially launched, and its AR HUD system was provided by CRYSTAL OPTECH, which can achieve a projection distance of 7.5m, a full-color visual distance coverage of 30m and a projection effect of 44 inches. In 2022, RUBIK, Changan DEEPAL, SAIC Feifan, NETA  and other own brands have released models equipped with AR-HUD.

Automobile enterprises equipped with AR-HUD

According to the research and evaluation of GGII and other institutions, the penetration rate of  front-loading HUD in China will reach 45% by 2025. Among them, the proportion of AR-HUD rapidly increased to 40%. It can be predicted that AR-HUD will become an important race track for automobile enterprises in the future.


In autonomous driving, which emphasizes system control, VR has played a significant role.

Traditional self-driving cars require a lot of road testing. Only by meeting the standards in terms of operating scope, performance, interaction ability, and risk control can they enter the commercial field. This process will consume a lot of manpower and material resources, and it is very unrealistic to travel to all parts of the country under the epidemic.

Recently, Shanghai Intelligent Connected Vehicle  Co., Ltd. developed a full-stack autonomous driving simulation test, put VR glasses on the test vehicle, the car can stay at home and accumulate enough test scenario data in tens of thousands of simulation test scenarios to verify the algorithm involved. The company is formed by well-known units such as Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Lingang Economic Development, and the project has also been included in the list of national engineering research centers by the National Development and Reform Commission. VR is of great help in improving the safety and productivity of the entire autonomous driving industry.


In conclusion,VR and AR have both been used to enhance safety and bring a better experience in car driving.


VRAR + Video Entertainment, the Journey is no Longer Lonely

With the increasing popularity of cars, they are no longer a simple means of transportation, but gradually become a part of our life scene, at this time, video entertainment is indispensable.

In 2019, Porsche teamed up with car-mounted VR startup Holoride to develop a rear-seat VR entertainment system. In the rear-seat, users can wear a headset to experience a kind of cosmic chase game called Cosmic Chase, and manipulate the characters to defeat aliens. With the speed of the car, there is a full and delightful pleasure.


In China, on December 18,2021, NIO released an entry-level sedan ET5, equipped with a panoramic digital cockpit based on AR/VR technology. Among them, the VR headset is combined with domestic manufacturer NOLO, and AR glasses are combined with Nreal.


Nreal and NIO's relationship does not end there, on August 23, Nreal released the Nreal Air AR glasses jointly created by the two parties, which will be officially launched on the NIO Mall in early September. Nio's ES7 model is equipped with an AR-enabled panoramic digital cockpit, which can project a large screen with a maximum visual distance of 6 meters and an equivalent of 201 inches through the connnection to the Nreal Air AR glasses in the car. We can have meetings and watch movies or sports events in the car.


Some friends would worry about motion sickness caused by wearing VR in the car. In fact, the current auto companies have been improving matter. Nio and Nreal have jointly developed an anti-shaking algorithm, which can greatly reduce the vertigo caused while driving. Holoride also adjusts the virtual experience and matches the motion state of the vehicle by collecting information such as steering, acceleration and braking of Porsche Cayenne. It is reported that it can effectively alleviate motion sickness.

It seems that more entertainment activities in the car in the future and the realization of a "motorhome" experience can already be expected.


VRAR+ learn driving, Efficiency has its  Hidden Concerns

In the traditional driving school, students need to go to the coach car to practice from the second subject, and they also need to find real street driving in the road test. However, this way will bring problems such as insufficient space, increased safety risks and loss of automobile costs for driving schools; For the students, it also increases the time of going out to practice the car and the manpower cost of the coach. While practicing, the influence of various extreme weather has troubled many students who practice driving in winter and summer vacations.

An effective innovation is VR driving and training, which takes the form of simulated cars. At present, the relatively mature simulated cars equipment can not only restore the real road environment of the training ground, but also equipped with automobile simulation devices such as clutch, brake pedal and steering wheel, which can get more realistic simulation of subjects such as reversing into the garage, side parking or half-slope starting.


At present, VR driving and training has penetrated into major cities. Take Beijing's more well-known driving and training agency EASTERM PIONEER as an example, the agency has laid out more than 20 VR learning car business departments throughout Beijing. In November 2021, EASTERM PIONEER also opened its first flagship store in the core area of the capital in Dongzhimen. On the flagship store's driving and training simulator, you can also practice for rare scenarios such as blizzards, tire protection and brake failures.

EASTERM PIONEER has said that according to the 25 million new drivers in China every year, the total number of coach car in the driving and training industry is nearly 800,000 and 50% of the configuration ratio, 400,000 VR simulation driving equipment every year will create at least 40 billion yuan of output value.

There are many benefits of VR driving and training, such as reducing traffic accidents and alleviating road traffic congestion. VR learn driving can also directly help China's "carbon neutrality" action and practice the concept of low carbon. According to Oriental Fashion statistics, students who choose VR to learn driving will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 95.56kg per person. And outside the big cities, more driving schools use old models as coaches, thus, the fuel consumption and carbon emissions will be more surprising.


But there are two big concerns about the current VR learn driving.

The first is high cost. Ankang Da Driving School in Fuzhou has been developing VR driving and training system since 2012. From the three-screen simulation training to the VR driving training system, the total cost of software and hardware is more than 20 million yuan, which is difficult for many driving schools to afford.


Secondly, the vertigo problem in VR learn driving. Some students said that when they put on VR glasses to learn driving, the dizziness was serious and it was difficult to achieve the purpose of training. However, due to the continuous research and development in recent years, it has been confirmed that the essence of dizziness is the brain's rejection of virtual scenes, which belongs to the category of neuroreflection, and preliminary solutions have been found.


VRAR+ Automotive Manufacturing, efficiency has grown exponentially

We shared with you the changes VRAR has brought to consumers in the automotive industry above. And for automobile manufacturers, that is, all kinds of manufacturers,VRAR also plays an important role.

Automobile Design-VR helps to save the making of clay models.

In automobile research and development, the two important links are design and model making, and the model is made of clay after the design scheme coming out. The product often takes months to finished. After  the use of VR, designers can make 3D models in a virtual space 1:1, and completed on a physical size. It is compatible with a variety of 3D software, which greatly shortens the time consumed. At present, it has been applied in many automobile enterprises.


Training employees with VR, 3 well-known auto companies are in action

VR has become a nice tool for training employees in the three major German car companies of Volkswagen, Audi and BMW.

In 2021, Volkswagen began training employees with HTC Vive VR headsets, and the SenseGlove Nova haptic feedback glove was added later. Trainees can grasp parts directly and feel the volume, texture and shape, which providing a more authentic and natural interactive experience.

Audi mainly uses VR to train apprentices in the automotive logistics department. After applying VR, the trainees can better master about 20 standard process steps, such as " taking out components", "tightening screws", "installing parts" and so on. With the help of VR, the training system will display the workstation in detail. With the help of high-resolution 3D glasses and controllers, using the HTC Vive and controller, trainees can move freely in a virtual workstation and perform a series of exercises according to various working procedures.


Another well-known company, BMW, is building a VR-based training system that has been used to improve the work of assembly employees, customer service agents, human resource managers and safety controls.



Why do automotive companies prefer VRAR technology

Seeing the large number of examples above, it is not difficult to see that the reasons why car companies like to use VR/AR technology are nothing more than the following two points:

One is the strong sense of experience

With the characteristics of immersion, VRAR can fully mobilize multiple senses to bring users a deeper experience.

On June 14, Guangzhou Xiaopeng Automobile Technology Co., Ltd. announced a new patent entitled "Virtual Reality-based Scene Display System, Method and Vehicle".


The abstract shows that the patented system includes vehicle information acquisition devices, processors, VR/AR display devices, and interactive devices. The system can collect the images around the vehicle, model the 3D virtual scene, and respond to the interactive control command input by the user, synthesize the dynamic effect and 3D virtual scene to obtain the target virtual scene screen.

This patent can help users to view real-time 3D virtual scene screen with dynamic effects combined with interactive operation during the driving, so as to improve the fun and ride experience of users during the driving.

Second is extension of the product chain and the promotion of upstream and downstream cooperation

As we all know, NIO, LEADING IDEAL(LI) and Xiaopeng are known as the three new automotive forces. LEADING IDEAL Car's full-size SUV LI L9 released in June this year also supports the VR direct connection function of the car. In the promotional video, LI shown the scene of the passenger wearing VR to watch the video. Compared with NIO's direct investment, LI is mainly based on compatibility with third parties. At this point, the new power of the three major automobile enterprises produced a close connection with VRAR.

In the cooperation between automobile enterprises and VRAR, a large number of upstream and downstream enterprises such as third-party precision instruments, optical, semiconductors, etc. will be involved to achieve the optimal allocation of resources.

the new power of the three major automobile enterprises

Summary

In previous industrial revolutions, a single major invention often led to the rise of multiple industries. We are currently experiencing the fourth industrial revolution driven by artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, life sciences, etc., of which VRAR is also playing an important role.

Especially in the automotive industry, which is closely related to us, VRAR is gradually penetrating into all aspects. VR and AR are no longer far off as the most powerful driving force of the automotive industry.

Sources:  VRAR planet


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