How the auto industry shifts gears with Metaverse

Here are some practical use cases for customer engagement, product development, digital factories, and workforce training.

The auto industry is undergoing a rapid transformation driven by digital-only car sellers, changing consumer needs, increasing connected experiences and the emergence of a sharing economy. With operational costs and customer expectations rising, the metaverse – a virtual world that simulates the physical world via artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), digital currencies, social media and other technologies – is emerging as a key enabler for accelerating growth and improving margins. Creating immersive experiences to deliver customer happiness across multiple touch points.

A Gartner study predicts this 25 percent of people It will spend at least an hour per day in the metaverse by 2026, creating more opportunities for customer engagement. The global metropolitan vehicle market is estimated to be worth over $116.5 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of over 41.46 percent. Around the world, auto companies are making the leap into the metaverse by launching virtual experience centers, virtual factories, and training collaborative workforces to connect with Gen Z customers and streamline operations at lower costs. Here are some of the major use cases for auto companies to look for:

Virtual Agents and Experience Centers

Malikarjuna Sarvipalli

Malikarjuna Sarvipalli

studies She found that virtual showrooms can lead to higher engagement and can improve the average time spent by potential buyers tenfold. Virtual dealerships and experience centers hold the power to create a truly unforgettable experience that can go viral and get potential buyers discussing the launch of an upcoming car. Benefits include:

  • Engagement: Personal and real-time engagement with sales teams. Invite friends and family to join the sale.
  • Experience: Visualize and interact with vehicles in the virtual world. Potential customers can interact with in-vehicle infotainment systems, accessories, etc.
  • Marketing: Prospects can interact with buyers and other potential owners.
  • Brand: Create user communities. Buy or sell NFT-based merchandise, as well as loyalty and rewards programs, to create custom rooms for NFTs. Organizing product launch in the metaverse.

Factories

The term “metafactory” refers to the digital twin of a physical factory in the metaverse to support product innovation and operations. Such factories can:

  • Simulating factory operations and enabling managers to solve problems without an actual factory visit.
  • Connect experts to remote field workers to reduce error rates and lower operating costs.
  • Collaborate with product designers in virtual worlds to create, simulate, and test different models before going into production. This can help improve product quality and reduce manufacturing costs.

live events

Morning scan Reports indicate that 61 percent of millennials are interested in attending live concerts in the Metaverse area. Hence, there is great potential for organizing events, concerts, webinars, trade fairs and product launches in the metaverse by blending the best personal experiences and online capabilities. It can provide such events:

  • Three hundred and sixty degrees live to bring events from the physical world into the metaverse
  • Simulated virtual booths that reflect the physical layouts
  • Collaboration with participants, speakers and organizers

manpower training

In the world of manufacturing, workforce training can be a very demanding process with significant risks to people and machines. Conventional methodologies are not cost effective and have been found to have low retention levels. Using simulated equipment and guided assistance, workers can be trained in virtual environments to promote greater engagement and retention. Virtual training can be delivered four times faster, while simulated training can have a 75 percent retention rate and achieve cost reductions of up to 33 percent. Benefits include:

  • Group Training Experience: Expand existing virtual reality applications that create only one-on-one experiences
  • Virtual guides with step-by-step instructions
  • Interact with coaches and colleagues
  • Simulations and scenario creations around plant operations and safety response procedures

Advertising in the world

According to Bloomberg, the metaverse advertising market could be valued at $53.7 billion by 2024. Such ads will be similar to in-game advertising, with virtual billboards and sponsored content. VR and Mixed Reality headsets provide additional dimensions to understanding customer behavior. Advertising in the world improves brand awareness specifically with the younger generation. This could include:

  • Virtual billboards installed in specific locations to measure viewability
  • Sponsorships where brands can sponsor wearables for avatars, environments, events, etc.
  • Additional insights into user interaction, such as emotions with eye, face, and head tracking

While the metaverse as a technology is still nascent and rapidly evolving, the initial results are promising. For example, NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform provided BMW with a 30 percent increase in production planning efficiency. However, there are challenges that must be resolved for mass adoption, which include the maturity of VR and MR headsets, a lack of open standards, privacy concerns, and a lack of mature and robust platforms. With these challenges faced, now is the opportunity to enhance the newest and most innovative customer experiences in the metaverse.

Redefining customer interaction

Especially for corporate-to-consumer brands looking to tap into the Millennial and Gen-Z markets, the metaverse has the potential to radically redefine customer interaction. The auto industry is on the cusp of its own inflection point, with electric cars set to become the new normal in the next decade, while self-driving cars aren’t too far off either. This will require auto companies to not only improve their product development and manufacturing practices, but also redesign their sales strategies and engage customers to sell to an audience with different sensitivities.

The metaverse is definitely a step in the right direction for auto companies, as it enables them to effectively address these changes. On the store floor, for example, they can harness the diverse benefits of digital twins and VR-enabled courses to improve manufacturing and operating efficiencies. On the other hand, they can also enhance their marketing and sales programs by adopting other components such as immersive virtual platforms, simulation setups and NFTs, to create highly customized brand experiences at scale.

Mallikarjuna Sarvepalli is the Head of the Mobility and Extended Reality (XR) Practice for the Product Engineering business at happiest minds. He is responsible for setting and leading strategy, capacity building, and creation of technology offerings. Malik is a key part of the team that leads the metaverse charter at Happy Minds, and his focus is on interacting with companies from various industries to help them build the right solutions that support the metaverse for their clients. Malik has over 20 years of experience in the IT field, his areas of interest include metaverse, XR, Web 3.0, blockchain and cybersecurity.

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