At the huge CES technology conference, the auto industry is getting a tempting taste of the metaverse. For example, a driver of an autonomous vehicle could watch a movie, a dealer could sell cars from a “virtual” car dealer, or an engineer could simulate how a new part would fit. The interesting metaverse news for auto enthusiasts is this one.
One of the gadgets on display in Las Vegas is an in-car TV system made by the French company Valeo that doesn’t need a remote.
When a driver or passenger with a headset wants to change the channel, they just swipe their hand in the air, and sensors in the car pick up on the movement.
Ghaya Khemiri, who is in charge of the Valeo project, says that sensors on the outside of a vehicle will let people who don’t like the feeling of a full headset add real people or landscapes to their virtual reality (VR) images.
Also, if sensors detect that a person is frustrated, the system can show them soothing images to help them calm down.
Khemiri said of Valeo, “we’re doing a lot of work on electric and autonomous cars, and work a lot on sensors. We had asked ourselves what we could offer (with them) for users’ pleasure.”
The company’s prototype system would be used first by passengers or drivers taking a break, like when an electric vehicle is being charged.
When cars are fully self-driving, the driver may be able to use it at the same time.
Movies on the windshield
Movies on the windshield: Users can use a controller to watch a movie or play a video game, and the system syncs VR content to the motion of the car to make people feel less sick.
The new version of Holoride, which was shown off at CES, can be used in any car. On Wednesday, BMW showed off a concept car for future cars that combines “the real and virtual worlds.”
The system shows a possible future project where augmented reality images, such as the car’s speed or direction, are projected on the windshield. The entire windshield could be turned into a screen to watch a movie.
“Although a fully immersive, interconnected metaverse remains years away, mobility stakeholders can already capture real business value from the technologies designed to enable it,” says a McKinsey report that came out the day before the CES show, which runs through Sunday.
Fiat, for example, opened a “metaverse store” in December, where customers can use an online assistant to research, configure, and even buy a car.
- Remote repairs:
As technology advances, particularly “haptic” devices that simulate a touching sensation, consumers will be able to virtually “examine a highly realistic replica of a vehicle, opening its doors, feeling its seats, accelerating onto a highway — just as they would with a real car,” according to McKinsey.
Also, if a car breaks down, a specialist could show a user how to make simple repairs from afar.
The metaverse can help make new things and test how they work in different situations. The head of innovation at a French company that makes parts, Alexandre Corjon, went to CES to find out how his company could use the new technologies.
He says that the metaverse might let him show a customer how a recycled material might act in a certain shape and “explain to the designer what effect it would have” on the car. It could also show how much better a new product is.
The company could also try using the metaverse to hold meetings of its management team around the world, which would save them from being forced to travel.
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