In the not-too-distant future when cars start to operate without humans managing, the environment in the cabin will surely change. On long journeys, there may be a need for more infotainment to pass the time. To demonstrate how we might be using media in our vehicles in the future, Porsche, start-up Holoride and media company Discovery have proposed a new VR (Virtual Reality) solution for use in vehicles.
The aim of the collaboration between Porsche and Holoride is to give vehicle passengers the opportunity of immersing themselves in virtual worlds. Development plans include entertainment, edutainment, as well as solutions for productivity and relaxation in the vehicle.
Maximum immersion for passengers
For this purpose, Holoride software links a VR headset with sensors and the vehicle so that content can be adapted to the car’s driving movements in real time. For instance, if the car is being driven around a corner, the ‘vehicle’ that the passenger is virtually travelling in will also change direction. Consequently, users experience maximum immersion into a fictitious world to significantly reduce the symptoms of travel sickness. This also applies to watching 2D content.
Passengers can choose from various 2D or 3D experiences ranging from documentaries and, for now, an underwater adventure through to a journey in time. The newly presented VR experience transports users in a drone moving through a futuristic city.
In future, the system could also evaluate navigation data in order to adapt the length of a VR experience to the calculated duration of the journey. Holoride software makes it possible to offer elastic content which is a new form of media especially designed for use in vehicles. Such content will adapt to not only to motion and context but also projected driving time so that the presentation ends when the destination is reached.
“Our joint projects with Holoride and Porsche Digital have demonstrated what the technology is capable of. In future, we also envisage Porsche-specific solutions, for instance for the race track,” added Anja Mertens, Project Manager for Smart Mobility at Porsche AG.
VR experience to be commercialised by 2021
Holoride is pursuing an open platform approach so automotive manufacturers and content producers can readily use the technology. “Now that we have teamed up with Discovery, we can demonstrate for the first time how users can also experience 2D content such as films in the virtual 3D world. We call this an ambi-environment,” explained Nils Wollny, CEO of Holoride.
As part of the Startup Autobahn innovation platform, the young company had shown that the Holoride software works seamlessly with manufacturer vehicle data for motion-synchronised, real-time generation of virtual reality (VR) and cross-reality (XR) content. The cooperation with Discovery underlines Holoride’s approach to also bring edutainment content to the vehicle in addition to gaming and entertainment. Holoride aims to bring this new form of entertainment using commercially available VR headsets for passengers in the rear seats of production cars to market by 2021.
Having Discovery, already well known for its documentaries, as a partner for 2D content means benefiting from their expertise in the area of real-life entertainment as the company supplies topically matching documentary material for the in-car VR experience.