TechNavio analysts recently completed a survey on augmented reality for the automotive sector in order to understand both the current and future market for in-car Augmented Reality (AR) technology, especially in European and US markets. The respondent companies include OEMs, suppliers, resellers, distributers, and researchers.
US and European automotive companies already have their sights on augmented reality technology to improve on current infotainment applications, while professionals from the APAC region are not certain that AR technology has as bright a future in the automotive industry. Currently, in-car infotainment includes features like Bluetooth, speech recognition, blind spot detection, human-machine interface applications and heads-up-display.
Augmented reality technology could possibly triple the amount of infotainment applications, like: navigation, information assistance, safety assistance, night driving assistance, training systems, entertainment, improved driving experience, repair and maintenance, marketing and sales.
In addition, over 90 percent of respondents believe that cloud computing will have an important role in AR technology for the automotive sector, as cloud computing enables effective retrieval of real-time data/information on traffic, weather, other vehicles, and connectivity to access and download location-based data and software.
TechNavio analysts found a mixed response from the respondents about the penetration of augmented reality technology into lower and mid segment cars in the future. AR technology is not overly affordable at the moment, which is why some industry professionals feel that it is a little out of the budget range for people looking to purchase vehicles on the lower end of the price spectrum.
On the other hand, some respondents feel that AR technology will see success because of high demand from customers, the ability to “pick and choose” AR infotainment applications, and the future development of many new AR applications in the market.
Most professionals agree that an infotainment display on the wind shield is the most preferred AR technology platform, as it does not require the driver to wear something on the head or an eye wear or look somewhere else while driving. Also, augmented windshield provides the real AR experience to the driver.
Next in popularity to windshield displays are Human-Machine Interface and Heads-up-Display technologies as these are less distractive and highly safe. Other platforms like smart mobiles, tablets, eye wear, Head Mounted Display (HMD) are considered more distractive and unsafe as it requires the drivers to look into two different things and drive.
Currently, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Volkswagen are the top brands offering infotainment via AR technology in their premium segment cars. Customers have a very high expectation from these players for a more efficient technology driving experience in the future.
Other brands like Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Tesla, Hyundai, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and few others are preparing themselves to enter in the AR technology market in the future. These market players are expected to use augmented reality technology to target lower and mid segment cars. But high implementation costs mean that these brands will likely take a backseat to their luxury counterparts in terms of AR technology development and implementation.
In short, yes!
Of those surveyed, the majority believe that their customers, especially in Europe and the US, are aware of the AR technology being used in automotive sector. Because of this higher customer awareness, there is a direct demand from the customers for AR enabled cars. Respondents feel that there would be a moderate to high demand for AR enabled cars in the future considering the safety factors and competition among the big players in the US and European markets.
In addition, augmented reality technology developers are expanding by offering a wider range of applications. Out of the professionals surveyed, the majority agreed that the AR market will experience a gradual shift from the mobile device industry to the automotive industry.
All things considered, TechNavio analysts are confident that augmented reality technology will garner a lot of success in the automotive industry. As AR technology companies develop and build on existing applications, demand for in-car AR systems is expected to increase.
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