10 Sep

The Audi VR Experience: Dealer Installations at Scale

Recognising the changing face of automotive retail and consumer expectation, Audi is striving to strengthen the relationship between customer and dealer by innovating the sales experience with new solutions that bring customers within virtual touching distance of their new car. As their strategic visualisation partner, ZeroLight worked closely with the luxury auto brand, developing a virtual reality experience that can be deployed at scale, to display and sell Audi's vehicles in ways that increase customer engagement and conversion across the entire dealership network.

Deployment at Scale

The Audi VR experience is a pioneering project designed to expand upon the brand's existing in-store digital solutions. Featuring Audi's entire car library with all grades, accessories and options, the experience utilizes the Oculus Rift headset to transport users to virtual worlds where they can experience their dream car at a 1-1 scale. In the most significant commercial deployment of real-time 3D VR by a car brand, the solution has been made available for dealers worldwide as part of Audi's digital retail initiative.

"Our work with ZeroLight has led to the creation of one of the most sophisticated and intuitive digital automotive retail solutions in the world."

Marcus Kühne, Strategy Lead, Immersive Technologies, Audi AG.

Redefining reality with unprecedented detail

VR builds upon screen-based dealership solutions, offering an immersive way to experience a configured car within the showroom.

"Leveraging VR enables us to deliver an exceptional and experiential method of product discovery. Customers can utilise the medium to go beyond reality and explore their new Audi in ways that weren't possible before."

Marcus Kühne, Strategy Lead, Immersive Technologies, Audi AG.

The 5-million polygon models offer an ultra-high-fidelity experience of both the interior and exterior, with the user able to inspect even the stitches of the seats and the individual components of the interior. This level of graphical quality is key in order to enable the customer to make informed decisions about every single configuration option.

Whilst perfecting their new car, customers are virtually transported to breath-taking surroundings thanks to the photo-realistic, dynamic environments, created with the same comprehensive attention to detail as the models.

"Applying VR to Audi's luxury dealerships requires optimal performance. Even the slightest inconsistency would shatter the illusion of reality and detract from the customer's experience. Attention to detail is paramount at every stage of development."

Chris O'Connor, Technical Director, ZeroLight

Recognition and response

After successful proof of concepts and dealership trials, an earlier version of the project, Audi Walking VR, was officially unveiled to widespread acclaim at CES 2016.

"Audi's VR Experience… took a relatively simple idea… and executed it brilliantly"

Road to VR

The roll-out of the experience to Audi's global dealership network was followed by a public showcase at IAA and OC4. At the latter, both Audi and ZeroLight were named as Oculus for Business launch partners in Hugo Barra's opening keynote. In addition to several subsequent event deployments, the experience went on to be crowned VR Product of the Year at the 2018 National Technology Awards.

"Delivering tangible value for both the customer and the dealer, the Audi VR experience demonstrates the revolutionary impact that immersive technologies can have on the automotive purchase journey."

François de Bodinat, CMO, ZeroLight

ProjectAR/VR, Retail