Audi is redefining in-car entertainment at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In the future, backseat passengers will be able to experience movies, video games, and interactive content even more realistically using virtual reality glasses. The premium brand is presenting a technology that adopts virtual content to the movements of a vehicle in real time: If the car drives through a right turn, the spaceship in the experience does the same, for example. Through a subsidiary, Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, Audi has co-founded a start-up company, holoride GmbH, which will commercialize this new form of entertainment via an open platform that will be made available to all carmakers and content developers in the future.
Audi is demonstrating the immersive futuristic technology with “Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run,” an in-car VR experience for backseat passengers being brought to life by Disney Games and Interactive Experiences. Wearing VR glasses, the passenger in an Audi e-tron (combined electric power consumption in kWh/100 km (62.1 mi)*: 26.2 –22.5 (WLTP); 24.6 – 23.7 (NEFZ); combined CO2 emissions in g/km (g/mi): 0) is transported into a fantastical depiction of outer space: The Audi e-tron now functions as the ship manned by the Guardians of the Galaxy, as the passenger makes their way through an asteroid field together with Rocket, a character that will appear in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame in spring 2019. Every movement of the car is reflected in the experience in real time. If the car turns a tight corner, the player curves around an opposing spaceship in virtual reality. If the Audi e-tron accelerates, the ship in the experience does the same.
In order to establish this new category of entertainment on the market as quickly and comprehensively as possible, Audi is taking a new approach: The premium brand has co-founded a start-up named holoride, in which it holds a minority interest through the subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, which developed the technology. Furthermore, Audi will license the technology to holoride. The start-up will use an open platform to allow carmakers and content developers to create and offer additional extended reality formats. “Creative minds will use our platform to come up with fascinating worlds that turn the journey from A to B into a real adventure,” said Nils Wollny, Head of Digital Business at Audi, and future CEO of holoride. “We can only develop this new entertainment segment by adopting a cooperative, open approach for vehicle, device and content producers.”