Can the Metaverse change the car industry? The process of developing a vehicle takes a long time, but maybe this new platform will improve things.
The Metaverse is real, but it’s not a singular place or system. The word describes the convergence of several virtual and online developments together. The technology that brings everything together should improve every industry but could have a huge impact in the automotive world. As investors move into this space to support the development of this new information sphere, we can explore what might change in the development and sales of vehicles in the future.
Many Automakers Already Use Digital Technology for Ideation
Ideation is the start of what a new vehicle could be. Everything has to start with an idea. The first developer of an electric vehicle, the next hydrogen vehicle, and the proliferation of EVs into the auto market all start with an idea that eventually becomes a digitized schematic. Designers can collaborate on ideas around the globe using shared information and processes. Before computerization, this wasn’t possible, and before shared documents and data via cloud technology, most designers only shared electronically via email, which too much longer than what we see today.
New Prototypes Come from a Much Different Process
Some automakers have used full-size clay molds of their vehicles as a way for executives to imagine these cars in real time. The Metaverse has a direct impact on the car industry by allowing designers and programmers to create virtual models and immersing executives in a world where they can review the model in a virtual reality world. This process replaces the clay molds and allows sensory technology for testers to touch and feel the vehicle through technology rather than offering a physical prototype.
The First Tests Can be Done in a Virtual World
Automakers have intricate testing facilities that cost millions of dollars. Before cars ever get to the real testing process, a vehicle can be tested in a virtual world. This is an important part of development that might cut down on costs. Using virtual testing, automakers can understand how some of the parts need to be improved before ever building a car model. This process can help cut down on time it takes to take a vehicle from the ideation to the sales phase. These virtual tests could occur across global platforms to help with the overall development of a brand.
Design a Part Here, Use the 3D Printer There
The design studio for an automaker doesn’t have to be on the same continent as the production facility. Not only will automakers enjoy developing parts and entire vehicles across global platforms, but when a far-away assembly plant needs parts designed, they can easily reach out to the design team and let them create the part and print it on the 3D printer at the assembly plant. This is a minor way in which the Metaverse will impact the car industry and bring things to market faster.
The Supply Chain Should Get Shortened
As this new platform grows for the automotive industry, we should see supply chains shortened, not lengthened. As an automaker develops a new vehicle, it can collaborate with suppliers ready to develop the technology and supply the features necessary to build these new vehicles. The overall collaboration will lead to shorter development cycles, higher build quality, and items that fit in the market much better. There could be partnerships between automakers using the same parts on different cars for the same functionality. We already see some of this, but the Metaverse will make it even more prevalent.
Prototypes Head to Testing Facilities Faster
A development team can be several countries away while a testing facility is working on a new vehicle and putting it through the paces. As test results become available, the changes required could happen instantly, and then the vehicle will enter the testing center again. This speed of development is another way the Metaverse can impact the car industry and speed up the process of taking a car from its ideation phase to the time when it will be on the road. The faster an automaker can develop the parts and features necessary to make updates to vehicles in the testing phase, the sooner these cars will head to the market.
The Sales Process Can Change in a Hurry
The traditional dealership won’t go away soon, but many of the physical aspects of a dealership experience can be moved to the virtual world with the development and growth of the Metaverse. You might take a vehicle on a virtual test drive where you’re actually the driver. Right now, many of the virtual test drives we see are done with a salesperson in the driver’s seat offering you a ride along through a camera placed on the dashboard.
Maintenance and Service Will Change for Vehicles
Instead of taking your car to the dealership for regular service and maintenance, your vehicle could head there without you. Some vehicles are close to doing this, but as autonomous driving becomes real, the Metaverse will have a huge impact on the car industry. It will take several aspects of this virtual world for your car to leave your driveway and go to the dealership for service without you. When it’s time for your appointment, the dealership can send a signal, and off your vehicle goes to be cared for.
There’s Still a Lot to Learn and Develop
Some scenarios presented offer what can happen in a perfect world. We do need to take a small step back and remember that every move forward comes with some bumps and bruises along the way. The Metaverse isn’t fully developed yet, but more technology and reach are being added every day. The learning curve continues to be steep. When we get to a place where things happen more often in a virtual world through technology, we’ll probably wonder how we ever lived without some of the systems offered.
These are just a few of the ways the Metaverse could have an impact on the future of the car industry. The industry we see today might not look the same in ten years.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.