Fiat customers will soon be able pull out their smartphones, open an app and virtually explore a new car from a variety of interior and exterior angles through augmented reality.
This new technology will give those looking to purchase a new Fiat the ability to explore a full-scale version of the vehicle through a handheld device.
Users will not only be able to see a vehicle in a variety of colors through the app, they will also be able to use their smartphones to virtually walk around the exterior of the car to see it from different angles.
“Augmented reality is set to transform the way car buyers choose and configure vehicles through the provision of immersive technology because it provides an enjoyable, delightful experience for customers,” said Luca Mentuccia, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s Automotive practice. “We believe dealers and car buyers will be quick to embrace this enhanced way of buying a car as the new devices become readily available, taking advantage of the 360-degree mapping environment to create this unique experience.”
This app for Fiat is the first-of-its kind for Project Tango, according to Pepe Moder, EMEA head of digital marketing for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
“It is a technical feature that will allow mobile (users) to interact with a virtual object projected on the screen,” said Moder of the technology which places a virtual object in an empty place. He added that the Fiat app will be the only automotive app dedicated to the use of this technology and will be available in markets around the world.
How it works
The free app will be available in the Google Play store for the upcoming Project Tango-enabled Lenovo phones. After downloading it from the store, users will be able to launch the augmented reality app, which projects a 3-D image of a Fiat on the screen.
With their smartphone in hand, users will be able to approach the virtual vehicle, which appears on the screen in actual size.
Users will be able to explore the vehicle and take in the exterior, change its colors and even customize its rims.
Once the exterior is set, users can than open the doors of a Fiat to explore its interior. And, because it is an app, users can tap the screen to personalize what they are seeing to change dashboard styles or upholstery colors.
Users can go inside the vehicle and look through the virtual windshield of the Fiat and see the “real” world around them as if the vehicle was in their actual location.
When the app goes live, it will include a complete configurator to personalize the entire line of Fiat vehicles.
As the finishing touches were being put on the app, a few lucky people were able to try the app at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The reaction to the consumer-focused app was “outstanding,” according to Moder, with media outlets from around the world giving a “tremendous” response to the new technology.
“I strongly believe that virtual reality will have an impact on the retail process,” said Moder, who added that the app helps bring dealerships to locations around the world where there are none.
Moder added that developers will do their best to localize the configurator in the application to region, but users should check with their local dealer to determine the availability of certain vehicles and options.