Big-name auto brands are revolutionizing the driving environment for passengers with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) engagement and assistance. Backseat entertainment is leveling up, changing in-car journeys from beginning to end.

Audi is introducing a virtual reality entertainment system with its spin-off startup Holoride this June. The headset-based brand-agnostic system will engage backseat riders in a motion-synchronized journey during their travels, mimicking the movements of the vehicle. Entertainment possibilities on the device range from location-based games, buying and selling NFTs, and virtual world engagement. The tech will be available in select Audi sedans and SUVs.

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The Cosmic Chase by Porsche and Holoride.

Porsche and Holoride announced an in-car virtual reality game set to launch at the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles in March. The Cosmic Chase game is an original virtual reality experience where backseat passengers can fight off aliens in flight via a virtual spaceship whose movement matches the turns, stops, and accelerations of the car. The adaptation of the game’s sound effects, movements and visual triggers to the movement of the car are said to prevent motion sickness in users.

Nils Wollny, CEO and co-founder of Holoride, stated that the “attraction is a perfect example of how automotive experience centers are transforming into exciting destinations that the whole family can enjoy and where no one is left out.” Holoride’s first in-car VR experience was a 2019 collaboration with Ford and Universal Pictures. This innovative consumer experience is the next iteration of Porsche’s 2019 cooperation with Startup Autobahn, a European platform.

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The Cosmic Chase by Porsche and Holoride.

BMW Group introduced augmented reality applications to aid the drivers of its new, now available electric iX models. Using sensor data and computer vision technology, the vehicle’s “infotainment” screens aim to make the driver’s journey simpler and safer by ensuring the driver is more visually aware of their surroundings. Using external cameras and sensors, the tech provides drivers with an interactive touchscreen map for clear, realistic visual navigation for every turn in their journey.

These new auto environments are a case study in how metaverse activations can bridge into our physical environments and day-to-day lives, transforming physical travel with meta-entertainment.

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