Vince Pornelos / Brent Co | August 08, 2018 06:18
VR and AR technology to enhance the Subaru customer experience in PH
Technology is bringing a new level of capabilities to the auto industry, and Motor Image, the distributor of Subaru in many Asian markets (including ours) is embracing that trend.
To address concerns such as lack of space at showrooms to display every model and the desire of their customers to view specific models in particular colors, Subaru will be making use of some special technology: augmented reality, and virtual reality.
During the launch of the new generation Subaru Forester, Motor Image let us try out the new technology package that they will roll out into their showrooms in the region, ours included. The virtual reality (or VR) component involves the use of headsets that allows customers to view a particular Subaru model. The VR set lets the client peruse the features of the car and have a 360-degree view around and inside the vehicle, all in a virtual space.
The software and the VR hardware also have the capability to showcase the capabilities of the EyeSight driver assist system such as detection, emergency braking, among others, in a safe virtual environment.
The overall package also includes augmented reality software that allows Subaru to show their clients every single color and every variant of all the models that Motor Image offers; and the features will be customized for every country, including the Philippines.
VHQ, the developer of the software, says that they spent up to 3 million Singapore dollars (about PhP 116 million) working on the programs. The hardware will cost around 4 to 5 thousand Singapore dollars (PhP 155,000-194,000).
“We're working on how to localize it for our smaller regional dealers,” said Mr. Glenn Tan, Managing Director of Tan Chong International, the parent company of Motor Image. “We are full speed ahead to do this. This is not just a demo.”
Motor Image's chief executive also says that they plan to make the technology available at all Subaru dealerships in the Philippines. The new Subaru Pasig dealership will be the flagship, and will be equipped to have the technology available for their customers.