Audi to transform cars into a virtual reality experience
Audi will bring virtual-reality entertainment from holoride into series production. Beginning this (northern) summer, back seat passengers will be able to wear virtual reality glasses and immerse themselves in various media formats including games, films and interactive content. The virtual content adapts to the driving movements of the car in real time. For example, if the car makes a right turn, the spaceship in the imaginary world will also fly to the right. If the car accelerates, the spaceship also increases speed.
Initiated by Audi, development of the innovative VR or XR (extended reality) technology is being advanced and commercialised for different manufacturers by the tech entertainment start-up, holoride.
With this approach, the Munich-based start-up has established a completely new media category that adapts to driving movements, journey time and driving route. The result is an immersive experience with a previously unknown level of quality.
From June, select Audi models equipped with the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3) and the latest software cluster will be holoride-capable. This means Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Audi Q5, Q7, Q8, Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron GT quattro. From June, these models will be capable of using holoride in the European, Canada, United States, Japan and China markets. However, the availability of holoride will depend on the individual market. The technology is expected to launch in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States markets, with others to follow successively.
The technology will be introduced at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music, film and tech festival in Austin, Texas, where visitors can take drives in the back seats of fully electric Audi vehicles. Holoride is closely associated with South by Southwest, winning the SXSW Pitch 2021 awards for Entertainment, Gaming & Content, and Best in Show.
Holoride was first presented at CES 2019 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. In cooperation with Disney Games and Interactive Experiences, holoride implemented a VR game experience from the Marvel Universe for cars. In addition to other activities and showcases, during a roadshow through California from Los Angeles to San Francisco in the summer of 2021, holoride visited other production and game studios to demonstrate the technology’s possibilities to potential partners.
Visitors to IAA 2021 in Munich were among the first to sample holoride. Attendees of the Salzburg Festival also experienced holoride in the back seat of an Audi e-tron and experience time travel through the musical epochs of the City of Salzburg while searching for a young Mozart.
In future, the progressive automation of travel by car will make new forms of entertainment possible while driving and open up increased opportunities to learn and work on the road. When occupants no longer have to concentrate on driving, they can turn their attention to other things – work, reading, watching films, or gaming. The motion-synchronized voyage through virtual worlds with holoride may also reduce the common phenomenon of motion sickness often experienced by passengers reading a book or enjoying audio-visual media on electronic devices such as tablets.