Audi has harnessed the power of virtual reality (VR) to make a significant breakthrough in in-car entertainment. Working jointly with Disney, it synced the forward, backward, and lateral movements of a car with a VR-based video game to turn a run-of-the-mill ride to the grocery store into an immersive experience for the rear passengers. The company demonstrated a close-to-production version of its Audi Experience Ride technology on the sidelines of CES 2019, and Digital Trends was among the first to experience it first-hand.
Digital Trends participated in a demo of Audi Experience Drive at the SPEEDVEGAS race track south of Las Vegas. We jumped in the back seat of an E-Tron, the firm’s newly-unveiled electric crossover, put on standard Oculus Rift VR glasses with integrated microphones, picked up a Nunchuck-like remote, and waited for our turn without the slightest idea of what to expect.
The technology — which is marketed as a completely new form of entertainment — was developed by Holoride, a start-up that Audi co-founded and holds a stake in. It’s simple on paper, and yet it took four years to develop. At its core, Audi Experience Ride gathers basic, anonymous data about the car and its surroundings. It records the car’s steering angle, whether it’s accelerating or braking, the g forces going through the cabin, and GPS information.
Gathering this data requires no additional sensors; nearly every modern luxury car is already fitted with the required equipment. The data gets woven into the fabric of a VR-based video game to create an experience that’s both realistic and engaging.
When our driver received the green light, the E-Tron took off with the silence and smoothness you expect from an electric car. He accelerated, braked, negotiated tight and wide turns, and hit speeds of up to 90 mph on the straight part of the track.
We were thrilled to have hosted them at SPEEDVEGAS. Read the full article at Digital Trends.