German automobile manufacturer Audi AG is set to demonstrate its pioneering consumer virtual reality (VR) experience alongside strategic visualisation partner ZeroLight at the largest conference for visual computing of the year. Showcasing the most influential work in the field of artificial intelligence, deep learning, virtual reality and self-driving cars, NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) draws executives, engineers and designers from across industries.
The Audi VR Experience, which is at the forefront of experiential retail in the automotive market, uses ZeroLight's advanced visualisation solution to provide multi-million polygon models of Audi vehicles. NVIDIA's VR SLI 2-way multi-GPU technology is used to assign a specific GPU to each eye, scaling performance and reducing latency to deliver a smooth, consistent framerate.
Utilising the latest headsets, users at GTC can digitally interact with and configure Audi's signature vehicles, including a special reveal of the 1930s Auto Union Silver Arrow racing car. ZeroLight's technology drives a highly immersive, interactive and informative car buying experience for the modern consumer, as CEO Darren Jobling, explains: "ZeroLight's omni-channel solutions empower OEMs and their dealers to engage customers and sell smarter. Buyers can digitally explore and configure their exact car prior to purchase using cutting edge technologies like virtual reality."
One of the very first manufacturers to realise the value of VR within the marketplace, Audi is running a global rollout programme of the VR Experience across dealerships this year. "Our work with ZeroLight has led to the creation of one of the most sophisticated and intuitive digital automotive retail solutions in the world" says Marcus Kühne, Project Lead: Audi VR Experience & Immersive Technologies, Audi AG. "GTC attracts the best in technological development, which makes it the perfect place to showcase technology that will change industrial and consumer marketplaces alike."
Shown for the first time at CES in January, the Audi-ZeroLight solution garnered critical acclaim from journalists in the industry, with coverage appearing in publications such as Engadget, Fortune, Top Gear, The Verge and Road to VR.
"It's the real deal. People will buy cars this way." - The Verge
Demand for solutions like the Audi VR Experience is driven by changing trends within the automotive retail marketplace, which is progressing to the digitalisation of traditional dealerships and the introduction of new ways for customers to select and specify vehicles. Audi is renowned for being a leader in the development and implementation of new technologies and its flagship Audi City stores are regarded as blueprints for the next generation of dealerships.
"Virtual reality is transforming how cars are designed, engineered, built and sold", says Danny Shapiro, Senior Director of Automotive at NVIDIA. "There is no better place to experience this than at GTC, where the brightest minds from the automotive industry, design community and research institutions share their work that will touch the lives of everyone in the near future."
GTC attendees can participate in the Audi VR Experience in booth 921, part of the "VR Village" from April 4th - 7th, at the San Jose Convention Center. Register for GTC & book a time at the Audi-ZeroLight booth.