Audi VR Experience Platform at C.E.S. 2023
Back in 2019 at the Consumer Electronics Show (C.E.S.), Audi announced it would transform its vehicles into an experience platform for virtual reality (V.R.). Selected models have been "holoride-ready" since the summer. Audi will return to C.E.S. Las Vegas from January 4 to 6, 2023, to offer media professionals and trade show visitors current content and a new V.R. game through "experience rides". Following the launch in Germany, the V.R. entertainment offering will become available in other European markets next year.
Audi is the first car manufacturer in the world to bring virtual reality entertainment by holoride to series production. At C.E.S. 2023, visitors can experience rides in the rear of an Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback. The Audi Hub at the Waldorf Astoria will be their starting point.
Behind holoride is a new technology that adapts the virtual content to the car's driving movements in real-time. For example, if the vehicle takes a right turn, the spaceship in the virtual world will also fly to the right. If the car accelerates, the spaceship speeds up, meaning a ride in the car becomes a multimodal gaming event. A bonus is that synchronizing the user's visual and felt experiences, holoride reduces the risk of motion sickness, which many passengers experience when watching movies or other dynamic content in a moving car.
Audi initiated the development of this innovative V.R. or X.R. (extended reality) technology for backseat passengers, presenting it for the first time at C.E.S. 2019. The novel form of entertainment received numerous trade show awards. The tech entertainment start-up company holoride went on to advance the technology and commercialize it for different manufacturers. After launching the platform in Germany in fall, holoride will enter other European markets in early 2023.
"Integrating holoride into our models means we are redefining in-car entertainment," said Giorgio Delucchi, Audi's Head of Digital Experience/Business. "Combining real-time vehicle data with virtual content creates a new experience. Furthermore, vehicle digitalization is essential in the ongoing interior transformation into a third living space. This highly personal space merges living and working spaces into one. This way, holoride serves as another proof point in our roadmap."
To enjoy the holoride experience, passengers need the "Pioneers' Pack" starter kit and a holoride-capable Audi vehicle from the A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q8 e-tron, Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron Sportback, and Audi e-tron GT1 model lines. The model year 2023 vehicle (production date 25/22 and later) and the third-generation modular infotainment kit (M.I.B. 3) are prerequisites. The Audi models mentioned are holoride-ready across the European market, Canada, the United States, Japan, and China. The availability of the holoride itself may be different depending on the individual market. A virtual reality headset enabled for holoride must be connected wirelessly to the vehicle via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
At launch, holoride users can immerse themselves in two blockbuster games and a range of interactive content. In the V.R. game "Cloudbreakers: Leaving Heaven," players control Dev, his scavenger robot Skyjack, and I.O.N.E. through the hostile skies of Stratus, collecting scrap metal and chasing A.I. guards, all while traveling to their actual destination.This is accomplished through holoride's "Elastic Content": the game content adapts to driving movements, journey time, and driving route.
Following the successful V.R. titles "Pixel Ripped 1989" and "Pixel Ripped 1995", a new version of the nostalgic game with a 2D look is coming out. In the game specially designed for the car, players accompany the Keene family on a Christmas trip and support David Keene on his mission. The twist here is that the car's movements are incorporated into the game, developed by the game studio A.R.V.O.R.E.
CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group's automotive software company, developed the technical requirements to use holoride in selected Audi models. For the first time, CARIAD will also have a pavilion at C.E.S. It will present innovative solutions at the new convention centre, including some from Audi or with Audi's involvement. This means Audi will be represented at the CARIAD pavilion since Audi relies on the cumulative expertise and synergies within the Volkswagen Group to develop complex digital systems. In CARIAD, digital user experiences and software expertise are bundled in each vehicle across the Volkswagen Group – covering everything from image processing, sensor, and E.C.U. Technology to system architectures.