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Volvo partners with Microsoft for augmented reality showroom experience

by Ben Hsu

The HoloLens will let customers take cars on a virtual test drive.

Volvo and Microsoft are teaming up to develop technologies for automotive applications. The first fruits of the partnership will be the HoloLens augmented-reality glasses, which will be used in Volvo showrooms to enhance the car buying experience.

To start, the HoloLens can project life-sized renderings of Volvo cars, equipped in various trims, options, and colors. It can also strip away the sheetmetal to give wearers a glimpse of what's underneath, from the drivetrain to the chassis.

HoloLens can also be used to demonstrate safety features such as forward collision braking assist, which can't be easily demonstrated during an actual test drive. It projects a 3D traffic simulation and can "give a human being the vantage point of a sensor," says Aric Dromi, whose fantastic title is Chief Futurologist at Volvo.

Microsoft and Volvo are considering adding software that could let potential customers sit in a Volvo in the showroom while going on a virtual test drive via the HoloLens.

For Volvo's part, the company says that partnership emphasizes its commitment to its core values of technology and safety. HoloLens should be in showrooms next year. Watch a video demonstration below.

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