Volvo is partnering up with Microsoft to develop the next generation of automotive technologies, including holographic imagery as a selling tool in the dealership.
The companies are working together on adapting Microsoft’s HoloLens – the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer – for use in helping consumers explore the vehicles they are thinking of purchasing, allowing them to virtually configure their vehicles in three dimensions and “see” them in the real world. Volvo and Microsoft also hope to collaborate on future technologies such as autonomous vehicles and new services derived from the data generated by connected vehicles.
“HoloLens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience, which customers can steer themselves,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Cars. “Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colours and wheels, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available.”
The HoloLens technology also allows dealers to take their showrooms on the road, to the customer’s work or home (with the recent trend of upscale companies to set up private appointments to configure vehicles and place orders), mall kiosks or even small boutiques in busy urban locations. All of which will allow retailers to reach broader audiences.
Volvo recently introduced the technology to the media, demonstrating the technology to virtually show the new S90 sedan that will be unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The holographic demonstration allowed users to experience the new car’s technology, even though the car doesn’t yet exist.
“We are thrilled to be working with Volvo Cars to reimagine what is possible in car design, discovery and purchasing," said Scott Erickson, Senior Director, Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft Corp. "We are excited to be at this intersection of technology and human-centric design with Volvo.”
“Today’s technology will allow us to achieve not only a more sustainable and crash-free future but also new benefits for our customers and society. Together with Microsoft we aim to pioneer in this field,” concluded Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Volvo Cars.