Volvo choses Microsoft Hololens as strategic sales tool

November 20, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Augmented reality is rapidly gaining grounds in the automotive industry. But whereas it hitherto was used to support designers and production workers, Volvo Cars plans to introduce it as a strategic tools in showrooms and stores. Toward this end, the Swedish carmaker has committed itself to Microsoft and its Hololens smart-glasses headset.

During a presentation in Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, USA, Volvo announced plans how Hololens could be used to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a car and as how cars might be bought and sold in the future. The collaboration between the Swedish carmaker and the software giant also extends to autonomous driving technologies as well as the utilisation of data generated from connected cars to create new data-based services.

“Hololens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves”, said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Services at Volvo Cars. “Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want, to explore the colours, rims or get a better understanding of the features and options available”. According to Annwall’s imagination, augmented reality (Volvo prefers to use the term “mixed reality”) might liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments and allow them to take a car configurator out on the road in small pop-up stores or shopping malls, opening up new sales channels and introducing cars to a larger potential audience.

The demonstration in Redmond marks the beginning of a long-term cooperation between the two companies. The scope of their collaboration will span a range of technologies which are relevant for the automotive industry, with a focus on autonomous driving and on ways how information gathered by the vehicles can be used to enhance the driving experience. Another field of interest in this context is using predictive analytics to improve driving safety.

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