Many CIOs and CTOs are pursuing a competitive advantage that is being enabled by emerging technology. As an example, early adopters in the automobile industry are exploring augmented reality (AR) from product design through production and sales.
The shipment of smart AI glasses in the global automotive industry will reach 1.7 million units in 2022. The total automotive AR market is expected to grow at 177 percent (CAGR) during the forecast period and reach $5.5 billion in 2022, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.
Augmented reality apps market development
“Augmented reality is benefiting automotive manufacturers at many stages of a product cycle, including design, prototyping, manufacturing and marketing,” said Marina Lu, senior analyst at ABI Research.
In design, digital 3D visualization and analysis of vehicle body structure and components can save time and resources. Collaboration is streamlined and improved, evaluating the same content in real time, which ultimately speeds up decision-making.
AR technology supplements traditional tools, such as clay modeling, with virtual components on top of an existing physical object, showing design variants or to support design reviews, again shortening cycles and saving on design and prototyping costs.
High-end, head-worn AR devices will soon be applied to more complicated applications in the automotive industry. Moreover, AR has already begun to transform the marketing and sales process in the automotive industry. Customers are able to interact with the customised digital vehicles in high detail before making a purchase decision.
Using Apple’s ARKit, Audi has released an AR app that enables users to place photorealistic 3D models of Audi vehicles on a surface wherever you are located and resize it as needed. Hyundai, Jeep and Volvo have also begun to leverage AR for virtual test drives and digital showroom experiences, saving time, real estate and cost.
According to the ABI assessment, while it is still early for automotive AR use, the applications at play have already shown a proven return on investment. The anticipated ROI is always the first question regarding any new technology, and this is especially true for AR.
Outlook for AR application deployment
Collaboration, step-by-step instruction, remote expertise and 3D spatial visualisation have been tried across industries with positive and predictable results. The importance of design and prototyping combined with the slim margins within the automotive industry make it a prime candidate for wide AR adoption.
From 3D visualisation to enhancing employee efficiency and safety on the plant floor to enticing buyers with a digital experience, the symbiotic relationship between augmented reality applications and the automotive market will continue to strengthen and grow.