The concept of the metaverse – a virtual world where users enjoy experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios, is doing rounds in full swing. It is an omnipresent term that no one in this time and age can really avoid.

It is safe to say that various automotive companies have been drawn in by the hype and want to enjoy a slice of the metaverse pie. This article is a part of the series of articles focused towards use cases of metaverse.

  1. Why Metaverse Matters To The Businesses
  2. Use Cases of Metaverse : Gaming
  3. Use Cases of Metaverse: Entertainment & Social Media 
  4. Use Cases of Metaverse: Fitness 
  5. Use Cases of Metaverse: Education 
  6. Use Cases of Metaverse : Corporates 
  7. Use Cases of Metaverse: Automotive (this article)
  8. Use Cases of Metaverse: Design, Architecture & Engineering
  9. Use Cases of Metaverse: Travel, Hospitality & Tourism
  10. Use Cases of Metaverse: Real Estate & Construction
  11. Use Cases of Metaverse: Fashion & Apparel
  12. Use Cases of Metaverse: Medical & Health
  13. Use Cases of Metaverse: Banking & Finance

The global metaverse market for automotive is projected to rise from USD 1.9 billion in 2022 to USD 16.5 Billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 31.4%. The concept of digital twin factories and virtual showrooms in the virtual space is quite a hype among automotive OEMs and dealers as of now. And on a combined level, they have together triggered the growth of the automotive metaverse industry.

Without a doubt, Metaverse has made things much easier in the field of simulation and testing the vehicle. If the metaverse market for automotive is to be believed, it is dominated by established players such as NVIDIA (US), Roblox Corporation (US), Unity Technologies (US), Meta Platforms Inc. (US), and WayRay (Switzerland). They are all known to develop products and provide service offerings for the automotive metaverse ecosystem.

AR and the metaverse

The metaverse heavily revolves on AR and AR-related technologies, such as simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM), facial recognition, and motion tracking. This has made many metaverse developers increasingly focus on AR. 

Source: BCG

In an analysis done by GlobalData’s Thematic Sentiment Analysis for Q4 2021, 51% of respondents said they were more positive toward AR than last year. Needless to say, AR is already in use in certain areas of the automotive sector. Some infotainment systems have used it as part of an augmented GPS navigation system, displaying holographic arrows on a live image feed from the front of the car.

Not to forget, AR headsets are being put to use in maintaining and manufacturing so as to reduce training time and perform quality control checks efficiently.

Brands Making A Move Towards the Auto-Motor-verse

When it comes to automotive-specific use cases of the metaverse, there are plenty such as:

  • BMW has partnered with Nvidia
  • Hyundai has partnered with Unity

These partnerships intend to build virtually accessible 3D digital twins of their factories that will let the employees collaboratively assess modifications and adjustments to production lines in the early planning stages.

What grabbed the headlines was the development of a concept car by WayRay. It is described as a “metaverse on wheels” due to its heavy reliance on AR technology. The car’s seats have joysticks that allow the passengers to select the amount and type of information projected onto the windscreen’s AR head-up displays (HUDs). 

Nissan is also now a part of the metaverse with its I2V Invisible to Visible AR concept launched at CES 2019. The system highlights obstacles that might not be very clear or known to the driver through a display inside the vehicle to amplify safety and driver comfort. The system also allows individuals to appear in the vehicle’s passenger seat as a 3D avatar. This might be a family member or friend to keep you company on a long drive, or a local guide to answer questions and give recommendations. Nissan hopes to roll out the technology in its vehicles from 2025.

Is Metaverse Taking Us En Route To 100% Remote Auto Retail?

Metaverse has the potential to bridge the gap between customers and dealers by allowing customers to touch, tour and test drive cars in the metaverse itself. Several digital auto showrooms are springing up across the metaverse, making customers virtually explore new and used vehicles.

Wondering how auto retail would look like in the metaverse?

Well, it would be similar to virtual showrooms, where customers can walk around the room and take a closer look at the vehicle they want, even taking it for a spin around the virtual block. 

If you think that’s all then you better brace yourself for online transactions using NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and cryptos that can make customers purchase their dream vehicles online. In the metaverse, buyers and owners can create or mint NFTs of their vehicles to give them a distinct identity. Car owners can also create NFTs of their vehicle license plates to trade with other users later. 

Simply put, Metaverse opens the door to 100% remote and frictionless auto retail. 

Streamlining Supply Chain Management

Metaverse is a game-changer when it comes to changing ways how we do things and supply chain optimisation is one of those. 

Metaverse and technologies can be put to the core in streamlining  supply chain management – from vehicle design to procurement of materials to manufacturing.

While strategic collaboration is just the tip of the iceberg, the metaverse would also allow automakers to create virtual manufacturing units. In these virtual factories, the manufacturers can streamline the layout of production lines, speed up procurement of materials and maintain inventory. Metaverse provides a comprehensive simulation environment that fosters safe and cost effective activities like conducting research, designing, procuring, and testing.

Boosting Collaborations Across The Sector

The proponents of metaverse are collaborating with several industry players to effectively design vehicles, test components, and build virtual showrooms. 

To accelerate the design process, efficiency, and material procurement, Metaverse allows designers to share vehicle prototypes in real-time with designers all over the world. 

Players from all over the world can use AR and VR technologies to collaborate virtually, measure their performance, and fine-tune errors in real time. Additionally, metaverse provides a virtual space to test and verify new vehicles, components and technologies before launching them in the physical world. This enables the companies to obviate risks and costly mistakes before investing large sums of money. 

Advent of A New Advertising Avenue

The advent of a new virtual world brings the prospect of advertising. Hailed as an immersive place for commerce, the metaverse is already home to retail stores and malls. This presents a wide gamut of opportunities for automakers and dealers to reach metaverse’s growing user base and create a widespread avenue for advertising. 

Be it automobile brands or dealerships, players in the automobile sector are very much keen in exploring this new space for advertising. With changing times, contextual advertising for automobile brands is now available on the metaverse, thus letting the brands tap the untapped potential of this virtual market and get a step ahead of their competitors.

Enhancing Customer Involvement

The automobile industry lags behind other industries when it comes to customer journey and experience. The automotive industry is known to devote all its efforts and resources towards product innovation and operational efficiency. It is yet to perfect the art of providing a great customer experience. 

If you talk about the customers in the present time spectrum, they expect highly personalised, result-oriented and responsive service. But, Metaverse can lend a big helping hand to the industry by enabling automakers to deliver these experiences by creating an immersive and frictionless customer journey. With auto showrooms coming into picture, customers can skip dealership visits, browse and buy vehicles from the comfort of their homes. Vehicle shopping simplified like never before!


Conclusion

Although at a very early stage of development, the metaverse has the potential to truly revolutionise the automobile industry. Infact, the use of AR in consumers’ day-to-day lives is also increasing, thus fostering the adoption in automotive. AR is also more likely to improve future entertainment experiences by overlaying content and video games over the outside world, or repurposing car windows to display a different world entirely. It is very possible that these worlds will be part of the metaverse.

Several key players have already entered the metaverse to build virtual factories, launch NFTs, and open digital showrooms and that’s just the beginning of the metaverse eventually becoming mainstream. It is safe to say that the players who enter the metaverse today are well-positioned to capitalise on opportunities that arise tomorrow in the automobile industry.

About Rising Capital

As Rising Venture Studio, we promote the entrepreneur and the company building process. We know what it’s like to be in the founder’s shoes and support the ‘next big thing’ in crypto, metaverse or gaming with apt resources and network.

As the Rising Capital Fund, we invest in early-stage crypto companies across the NFT, Gaming and Metaverse Sectors, while keeping a portion of our portfolio in liquid assets. We strive to take a fundamental approach to identify unique investment opportunities in the emergent and evolving crypto asset class.

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