Augmented Reality for Improved Dealership User Experience

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0278

  • 2017-03-28
Potential for Augmented Reality (AR) spans many domains. Among other applications, AR can improve the discovery and learning experience for users inspecting a particular item. This paper discusses the use of AR in the automotive context, in particular in improving the user experience in a dealership show room. Visual augmentation, through a tablet computer or worn glasses, allows users to take part in a self-guided tour in learning about the various features, details, and options associated with a vehicle. The same approach can be applied to other learning scenarios, such as design, training and maintenance assistance. We evaluated a set of AR Glasses and a general purpose tablet. A table-top showroom was developed demonstrating what the actual user experience would be like for a self-guided dealership tour using natural markers and three dimensional content spatially registered to physical objects in the user’s field of view. Spatial registration is done by tracking two- and three-dimensional markers. The camera position and pose relative to the markers is calculated and used to augment informational and graphical content to the scene. The developed application is capable of recognizing a vehicle and rendering accessories, such as a roof rack, and allows the user to cycle through various features of the vehicle to engage in a learning and quiz activity. This allows users to engage in the learning exercise at their own pace while pursuing their particular interests, and potentially earn points as part of a rewards program. This paper overviews the solutions surveyed, and presents our selected approach using the Vuforia AR library for marker and object recognition and the Unity game engine for 3D graphics rendering. Particular challenges and lessons-learned in using AR glasses and a tablet are discussed.
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