On a virtual test drive
On the move with virtual reality: How can new technologies be transferred to business and used sensibly? And what value do they add? The Digital@Retail pilot project provides the initial answers. In collaboration with our customer from DAG, in the retail digitization field, an innovative new format has been developed here: the virtual test drive with the Mercedes-Benz eMotionSeat, in which customers can be passengers on a simulated ride in a virtual environment. However, this will not replace a real test drive. Rather, the virtual experience is meant to support the sales talk, as a sort of appetizer for the broad range of models. Moreover, the tool can be used with mobile formats or at auto shows.
VR + driver’s seat = a unique connection
In less than seven weeks, the MC team and our customer from the DAG retail digitization division were able to present the first functional prototype of the eMotionSeat. Compared to the 360° videos that dominate today, this has something special: The travel movements are transferred simultaneously to the seat to intensify the feel of a real driving situation. The video itself explains to the user additional advantages of the model being shown and also presents the assistance systems. In the Bremen customer center alone, so far more than 6,000 people have taken a virtual test drive. And the feedback has been nothing but positive. The combination of a virtual reality headset with a seat that transfers the driving motion is currently unique in the automotive business.
Three questions for
Project Manager Frank,
What was challenging about the eMotionSeat?
To find an innovative approach for raising the test drive to a new level of experience, plus prompt implementation and assistance with the whole project, from initial concept to final realization.
What is the take-away for you personally?
Independent work with various technologies, the chance to develop something completely new and to test it hands on. The open, uncomplicated collaboration with the customer.
What does the future have in store?
The eMotionSeat is under constant development and is currently being tested abroad.