Audi will begin rolling out virtual reality headsets to its dealers in the dying embers of 2015.
The virtual reality set is placed over the eyes and strapped to the head. Capable of displaying a 3D image, the Oculus Rift headset is fitted with a camera that tracks the customer’s head movements, while a hand held controller allows for movement through the virtual space.
Audi says that users can virtually sit in the driver’s seat or inspect the vehicle’s other aspects, such as the boot.
Connected to a high performance computer, the VR headset allows the user to explore every Audi vehicle in any customisation combination available, with the customer able to ring up changes from equipment and infotainment systems to paint schemes, seat colours and interior inlays.
A pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones lets the customer sample various audio aspects of the car, including the thunk of the doors closing or the optional high-end audio system.
Dealers located in “growth markets” will be the first to receive their VR equipment. We’re waiting to hear back from Audi Australia as to whether the VR system is coming to Australia and, if so, when it will arrive on our shores.
In the future the company hopes to have a mobile version of the virtual reality setup available, allowing dealers to visit customers at home if necessary.