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The Metaverse: Driving Change in the Mobility Sector

1 min read · 992 views Bong-Geun Choi Jul 11, 2023

Metaverse technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR), may change the way that automobiles are experienced, manufactured, marketed, and sold.  How is the mobility sector adopting and integrating these new technologies? [1]


Virtual Showrooms

Many individuals already begin their new vehicle search online.  Metaverse technologies may expand these abilities. AR and VR technologies may allow individuals to visit virtual showrooms and browse thousands of cars.  It can also allow them to envision and build their desired vehicles.  For example, they may be able to click on different features to get more information or cycle through custom options.


Car companies and automobile dealerships can set up virtual showrooms.  Acura opened a virtual showroom in Decentraland to introduce customers to its 2023 Integra model.  Visitors could walk through the showroom and engage in interactive experiences, like racing cars virtually. 


While test drives will likely remain an activity that individuals want to experience in the physical world, automobile manufacturers will likely continue to expand the virtual activities that individuals can experience.  VR and haptic technologies may enable consumers to examine a highly realistic replica of a vehicle, open doors, feel seats, and simulate driving experiences such as merging in traffic, accelerating on a highway, or backing out of their driveway.   



Car companies could use AR technologies to display digital information on a car’s dashboard, including speed, GPS directions, cruise control, and current traffic conditions.  It could also present information on the surrounding area including, nearby points of interest, restaurants, or retail sales.


For passengers, expanding entertainment options could be made available, including immersive video games, educational activities for children, or for riders to be more present in virtual meetings.


Manufacturing and Digital Twins

A digital twin is a virtual representation of real-world physical assets or systems.  Automobile manufacturers could create a digital twin of a factory floor to assess the vehicle assembly process and make enhancements.


VR can also enable the creation of virtual 3-D renderings of automobiles, and allow its viewing in different settings.  It can enhance the testing function, generating simulations of different environments such as crowded highways, urban roads, and other environments that may be difficult to replicate in the real world to test the vehicle’s perception systems, decision-making abilities, and control logic. 


Training and Repair

AR and VR technologies can aid in the training process, with technicians being trained on a virtual 3-D vehicle by a remote instructor.  Additionally, on-site technicians can connect with virtual avatars or offsite specialists on complex repairs.


Making More Activities Virtual

Buying a car will likely remain a physical activity.  Nothing can replace seeing and testing a vehicle in person. However, metaverse technology may allow for more virtual activities that facilitate the pre-purchase process, make the driving experience more robust and interactive, assist in the manufacturing, training, and repair processes.


[1] Source: The Metaverse: Driving Value in the Mobility Sector: McKinsey & Company, 1/4/23


Bong-Geun Choi

Chief Economist


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