Hyundai rolls out augmented reality sales tool to Australian dealerships

Hyundai is rolling out an augmented reality tool to dealerships across Australia to help sales staff demonstrate the features of its new ‘Reinvented i30’ hatchback.

The AR app will run on iPads, so salespeople can show potential buyers the car’s built-in safety features as well as colour and accessory options.

“As a brand, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to improve customers experience within the dealership environment. This app gives dealers the ability to demonstrate key features of the car that would be otherwise difficult to showcase within the showroom environment, particularly, without holding extensive inventory,” said Hyundai product marketing manager Nick Cook.

The app has been created by Sydney-based AR and virtual reality studio Auggd, which has previously worked with clients including JLL, Laing O'Rourke, Ricoh and the NSW Department of Industry.

The platform’s AR features anchor to a sticker on the vehicle’s driver-side door. The app overlays a 3D model of the car so that users can change its colour and wheel types, and view animations showing difficult-to-explain safety features such as autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assist system. At the back-end the platform also provides Hyundai with insights into its usage.

“This is a real-world customer experience for AR. It is well beyond any gimmick application and provides Hyundai with an engaging way to demonstrate hidden features and aspects of choice,” Auggd CEO Rob Lang told Computerworld.

“It allows you to visualise aspects which are otherwise hard to visualise. I break this down into three areas: assets you don't have, assets you do have but are expensive or problematic to visualise, and assets you can't visualise without digital renders.

“For example, the ability to change colours and wheels and add accessories are showing assets that you don't have. Inflating the airbags is an example of visualising something you do have but it would be expensive to do on the real car.And finally, the safety features like the emergency braking are features which you otherwise can't visualise.”

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Head of mobile marketing at Ansible Ara Ko – who worked with Auggd and Hyundai’s media agency Initiative to create the app – said the tool would help improve the customer experience at dealerships.

“Dealerships that focus on customer experience will enjoy better sales results in the long term,” Ko said. “The Australian auto industry is facing the challenge of extremely empowered consumers and a significant increase of in-home research. The showroom experience is rapidly evolving to take advantage of customer attention when they step into a dealership. The ‘AR Showroom’ experience will excite customers, especially the tech savvy ones.”

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This is not Hyundai’s first use of augmented reality. In early 2016 the company launched an AR owner’s manual app for a number of its popular models.

The manual app contains three dimensional overlay images to guide maintenance tasks, which appear when users scan areas of the vehicle. As well as the AR features, the app includes how-to videos and text-based information guides.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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