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How Augmented Reality Aids Automobile Manufacturers

Many CIOs and CTOs are pursuing a competitive advantage that's enabled by emerging technologies. As an example, early-adopters in the automobile industry are exploring use cases with Augmented Reality (AR), because it offers benefits to the whole value chain -- from product design through production and sales.

As a result, smart glasses shipment for global automotive industry use will reach 1.7 million units in 2022. The total automotive AR market is expected to grow at CAGR of 177 percent during the forecast period and reach $5.5 billion in 2022, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

Augmented Reality Apps Market Development

"Augmented Reality benefits automotive manufacturers at many stages of a product cycle, including design, prototyping, manufacturing, and marketing," said Marina Lu, senior analyst at ABI Research.

In design, digital 3D visualization and analysis of body structure and components can save time and resources. Collaboration is streamlined and improved, evaluating the same content in real time, which ultimately speeds up decision-making.

AR technology supplements traditional tools, such as clay modeling, with virtual components on top of an existing physical object, to show design variants or to support design reviews, again shortening cycles and saving on design and prototyping costs.

High-end, head-worn AR devices are on a path to being applied for more complicated use cases in the automotive industry. Moreover, AR has already begun to transform the marketing and sales process for the automotive industry. Customers can interact with the customized digital vehicles in high detail before making a purchase decision.

Using Apple’s ARKit, Audi has released an AR app which enables users to place photorealistic 3D models of Audi vehicles on a surface wherever you are located and resize it as you find fit. Hyundai, Jeep, and Volvo have also begun to leverage AR for virtual test drives and digital showroom experiences, saving time, real estate, and cost.

According to the ABI assessment, while it is still early for automotive AR use, the applications at play have already shown a proven return on investment. The anticipated ROI is always the first question to answer for any new technology, and this is especially true for AR.

Outlook for AR Application Deployment

Collaboration, step by step instruction, remote expertise, 3D spatial visualization, and more have all been tried across industries, with positive and predictable results. The importance of design and prototyping combined with the slim margins of the automotive industry make it a prime candidate for wide AR adoption.

From 3D visualization with designers to enhancing employee efficiency and safety on the plant floor to enticing buyers with digital experiences, the symbiotic relationship between augmented reality applications and the end-to-end automotive market will continue to strengthen and grow.

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