Audi HoloRide: Virtual Reality meets the real world

01/07/2019
This is a scene from the trailer by holoride GmbH, a spin-off in which Audi Electronics Venture GmbH holds a minority interest. It mirrors a situation that a lot of parents are quite familiar with: While the driver enjoys the driving experience, everyone else perceives their travel time as time wasted. Sure, there are ways to kill time, but is time not way too precious for just being killed, really? Wouldn’t it be great if every single car ride became a unique experience for everyone in the car?

The young woman grabs the Virtual Reality headset lying next to her. She puts it on and all of a sudden finds herself in the middle of a fascinating game. Now it seems as if the Audi e-tron is no longer driving past the city’s grey building facades. Instead it is moving through a colorful fantasy world populated by blue and white little chickens, so it seems. As the car stops at a pedestrian crossing in the real world, the vehicle stops in the virtual reality as well and the little chickens can pass. With the controller in her right hand, the young woman can aim for the chickens and is rewarded with hit points.

The fusion of the vehicle data and the game content is perfect: With each bend along the way, with each acceleration of the car and each application of the brakes, the virtual reality experience is shaped. In a similar way, the young woman is flying through a prehistoric landscape on a dinosaur and navigating a spaceship through space later on in the trailer.

The young woman in the backseat of an Audi e-tron is struggling. Struggling with tiredness and with boredom. She is fidgeting with her hands and looking out of the window with lack of interest. While chewing on a dark-painted fingernail she sighs. Everything about her is asking: Are we there yet?



* * * Fuel consumption combined *: 26.2-22.5 kWh/100kmCO₂-emissions combined *: 0 g/km
Audi brings sto­ries to life in the car
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). With the new technology an extra dimension is added to this Extended Reality:
“We took relevant data points like location, speed, steering, acceleration and braking – and matched these with artificial environments. By doing so, we not only created a perfectly motion-synchronized journey through virtual worlds, but something radically new that entertains backseat passengers in an unseen way,” says Nils Wollny, co-founder and CEO of holoride (as of February 1, 2019).

Even for a passenger who travels the same route everyday, the VR headset will provide a new experience every time. The little chickens at the pedestrian crossing might not be there anymore the next day because the car ride in the real world will also be different. This way a whole new media format emerges: elastic content.

Due to the hap­tic feed­back of the real drive, the vir­tual ex­pe­ri­ence feels in­cred­i­bly re­al­is­tic and more in­tense than ever be­fore.

Nils Wollny
The technology was developed by engineers at Audi Electronics Venture GmbH and presented for the first time at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas. The first virtual worlds of this showcase project were created in cooperation with Disney’s experts for Games and Interactive Experiences. „When Audi called us with the idea, we were excited about the possibility of bringing our characters and stories to life in a car environment,“ says Mike Goslin, Vice President of Disney Games and Interactive Experiences.
User test­ing con­firms: strong im­mer­sion, less mo­tion sick­ness
A study with 44 participants showed how impressive the technology is: A drive with this new entertainment category evokes especially strong immersion. Immersion means that Virtual Reality is perceived as exceptionally real.

“You are completely integrated, you become a part of it, you’re totally captured,” says one of the participants of the study. Another one asks: “How is it possible for me to get this lost in a game?” Parents were particularly enthusiastic about the prototype and said they intended to use the system for long car rides with their kids as soon as it becomes available.

When interviewed before the trial (values on the left), only 18 percent of the study participants stated that they usually don’t have any problems with motion sickness. When using holoride technology (values on the right), 53 percent experienced a journey without any symptoms of nausea.

* * * An interesting side effect is that the technology seems to reduce motion sickness, too. A lot of people are not able to read or watch videos when they are passengers without feeling nauseous. During testing of this novel technology, however, three times as many participants as would have been expected to get motion sick based on their history did not have any problems with motion sickness this time at all. The reason for this could be that the body perceives staring at a book or a smartphone as a contradiction to the dynamic motions of the car. With holoride, on the other hand, the motions in the virtual world are in sync with those of the car.
The 25th hour: au­tonomous cars bring the gift of extra time to peo­ple
Content, especially entertainment, will become a major driving force for the mobility experience of the future.
Nils Wollny
Behind the idea of holoride lie the questions of how mobility is going to change over the years to come and what this is going to mean for the experiences we have inside cars. The idea is that with entirely autonomous cars, people will gain up to one extra hour each day, equaling the time they used to spend behind the steering wheel of their car. This is what Audi calls the 25th hour. This extra free time will make digital services in vehicles even more important.

By the way, it is not the first time for Audi to be a game changer. The development of the famous Audi quattro already changed the driving experience radically

VR headsets: commercially available devices are supported

* * * The holoride technology is not supposed to only be used in Audi vehicles. It will be made available for all car manufacturers. Holoride wants to launch the technology to market within the next three years for backseat passengers with commercially available VR headsets.

So what about the young woman from the trailer, after all? As the Audi e-tron stops and the game ends with the notice “level completed”, she takes off the VR headset. Her only question is: “Are we there yet?”

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Honda Dream Drive to Deliver Next-Generation Infotainment, Commerce, Services and Rewards to Drivers and Passengers

Honda Innovations collaborates with leading consumer brands and retailers to create new in-vehicle experience
Demos of prototype mobile-based dashboard at CES 2019
Watch video of Honda Dream Drive at https://Honda.us/DreamDrive
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., USA, January 8, 2019 – Delivering on customer expectations for the full integration of mobile services into the vehicle experience, Honda is demonstrating its prototype Honda Dream Drive, the automotive industry’s first integrated driver and passenger infotainment, commerce, services and rewards dashboards within the vehicle environment. First shown as a concept at CES 2017, Honda Dream Drive has evolved to offer drivers and passengers a broad range of convenient services and engaging entertainment options, while minimizing the potential for driver distraction. Developed in collaboration with Connected Travel, a connected vehicle platform and application services company, Honda is offering demos of Honda Dream Drive in the all-new 2019 Honda Passport at its CES booth #7900 in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Jan. 8-11, 2019.

Honda Dream Drive to Deliver Next-Generation Infotainment
Honda Dream Drive to Deliver Next-Generation Infotainment

The new prototype mobile-based dashboards provide services and experiences designed specifically for both drivers and passengers:
Honda Dream Drive: Driver demonstrates the expansion of Honda’s in-vehicle payment technology concept, first introduced at CES 2017 with Visa. It enables drivers to pay for goods and services like fuel, movie tickets and parking, make restaurant reservations, food ordering for pickup or delivery, and even share the driver’s location with friends and family.
Honda Dream Drive: Passenger offers passengers the ability to play mixed reality games, watch movies, listen to music, read original comics stories, use travel applications, explore new points of interest along the route, and control the radio and cabin features – all from the passenger’s mobile device.
Moreover, customers will have access to purchase Honda Dream Drive content, movie or event tickets, order ahead, and a variety of other convenience options provided by Honda’s collaborators.
“Honda has teamed up with industry leaders who want to understand how to best provide in-vehicle services to our customers,” said John Moon, managing director, Strategic Partnerships, Honda Innovations. “These collaborations are important to test consumer desire so we can understand how to mutually serve our customers.”
Partnering with leading brands on voice-enabled driver applications
Honda Dream Drive is both voice and touch enabled, providing users with convenient, safe and easy access to services. Honda collaborated with a host of industry leaders – Atom Tickets, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, Grubhub, Glympse, iHeartRadio, IPS Group, Arrive, Parkopedia, Phillips 66, Yelp, and USAA – for its voice enabled, driver dashboard for parking, gasoline payment, restaurant reservations, ticketing, audio, location sharing, and rewards.
Honda collaborated with AAA, DC, Entercom/RADIO.COM, the LEGO Group, Silvergate Media and the Octonauts team, and Univision Music to create its passenger dashboard for entertainment, education, travel, commerce and rewards experiences.
Expanded in-vehicle payment partnerships
Since 2016, Honda has worked with Visa to build and enhance the in-vehicle payment experience to make payments more convenient and secure. Now, Honda is expanding its in-vehicle payment collaboration to include Mastercard and PayPal. Collectively, Honda is working with these partners to create the vehicle experience of the future.
Rewards Program for Honda customers
In an effort to create new value for vehicle ownership and use, Honda Developer Studio is user testing a new points-based rewards program to benefit drivers and passengers for using Honda products and services. Drivers and passengers can earn rewards points for participating in a variety of activities including purchasing services, watching and listening to media, and playing games.
“The gamification of everyday travel experiences with rewards points provides Honda with a unique opportunity to connect with its drivers and passengers, to establish a more personal engaging relationship with them, and to enhance customers’ daily lives with the automotive industry’s first frequent driving and riding program,” said Bryan Biniak, CEO of Connected Travel®. “Honda drivers and passengers earn points from common activities as well as extraordinary experiences created with market leading brands and developers, and then redeem their reward points at their favorite local and online retailers.”
Interested partners and innovators can meet with Honda Developer Studio and Connected Travel representatives at CES, January 8-11, 2019. To learn more about Honda Developer Studio, visit Developer.Hondainnovations.com and follow @HondaInnovation on Twitter.
What collaborators are saying
“Parking is an essential component of the driving experience. We are excited to partner with Honda and Connected Travel to power voice-enabled parking in Honda Dream Drive, helping Honda drivers reduce time in traffic, save money and make it simpler and safer for them to reach their destinations.” – Yona Shtern, CEO of Arrive
“We’re constantly looking at market-leading channels to deliver the Atom Tickets experience to consumers. Teaming with Honda on Dream Drive to deliver next-generation passenger and driver movie ticketing services was a natural fit since our companies share the same goal of bringing convenience and entertainment to the consumer. Innovation is at the forefront of our company’s DNA, and we hope consumers will enjoy seeing Atom pop up in more unexpected places in the future.” – Matthew Bakal, chairman and co-founder of Atom Tickets
“Honda Dream Drive takes full advantage of vehicle connectivity to bring consumers new experiences that will simplify their lives and we are excited to work alongside Honda to extend this innovation to the in-vehicle audio experience by seamlessly blending broadcast radio with all of the streaming offerings of iHeartRadio. Radio has always been a major point of influence before a consumer makes a purchase and we are thrilled to work with Honda on Dream Drive to make these transactions simpler than ever for listeners and drivers.” – Michele Laven, President, Strategic Partnership Group for iHeartMedia
“As an innovation leader in Smart Parking for Smart Cities, IPS Group is proud to partner with Honda in this exciting evolution of an enhanced driving and parking experience.” – Chad Randall, Chief Operating Officer, IPS Group
“We continuously explore the opportunities offered by new technologies to create fun and creative play experiences for children in various play environments, physical and digital. This demo, while not a commercially available experience, is yet another way in which we aim to experiment with how children interact with LEGO play in a fun mixed-reality scenario.” – Tom Donaldson, Senior Vice President of Creative Play Lab at the LEGO Group
“From the comfort of their homes to the confines of their cars, people want to make purchases when they want and where they want. Our familiarity of shopping with mobile and voice-activated devices have created the expectation for almost every device to be a way to shop and pay. At Mastercard, we’re bringing our technology and experience to ensure these experiences are simple, intuitive and secure.” – Sherri Haymond, Executive Vice President, Digital Partnerships, North America, Mastercard

“We understand consumers want to fuel up, pay and quickly be on their way. Now consumers can use the Phillips 66 apps in Honda cars to pay for gas at the pump in a fast, friendly and seamless way.” –John Barbour, Manager of Payments and Card Services at Phillips 66
“We’re delighted by this opportunity for kids to enjoy Octonauts via this new app platform. It’s a great new chance for them to explore, rescue, and protect the oceans!” – Ron Allen, EVP Commercial, Silvergate Media
“Univision is thrilled to collaborate with Honda’s platform to jointly develop next-generation radio experiences for connected and autonomous vehicles. Working closely with Honda we seek to develop highly immersive and engaging user experiences and advertising solutions that deliver results for our partners. We look forward to showcasing Uforia with Honda at CES this year.” – Jesus Lara, President of Univision Radio
“By continuing our partnership with Honda, a leader in automotive innovation, we are furthering the development of in-car commerce solutions that focus on security, safety, and convenience for the driver. Combining Visa’s payment expertise and Honda’s expansive platform, we are one step closer to transforming the car in to a new epicenter for commerce.” – Olabisi Boyle, Vice President of IoT, Visa
About Honda Innovations
Honda Innovations drives transformative collaboration within all areas of Honda. As part of Honda Innovations, Honda Xcelerator and Honda Developer Studio, two open innovation programs, serve as catalysts to discover and experiment with new technologies and business concepts. Honda Innovations partners with innovators of all shapes and sizes from startups to global brands and design and development communities to create cutting edge products and services. Honda Innovations is based in Silicon Valley and operates globally. To learn more, visit HondaInnovations.com.

About Connected Travel
Founded in 2016, ConnectedTravel® has developed a comprehensive cloud-based platform services that utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), data fusion, behavior science and gamification technology to capture, understand, and drive consumers day-to-day mobile activities. ConnectedTravel® has developed, owns and operates a driver and passenger location-based application services platform and business that serves the automotive ecosystem on a SaaS basis. The platform provides data driven infotainment applications and APIs, realtime behavioral management and analytics tools, as well as geotargeted advertising and attribution services. For more information, visit www.connectedtravel.com.

—Honda Global | Honda Dream Drive to Deliver Next-Generation Infotainment, Commerce, Services and Rewards to Drivers and Passengers —

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