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Friday, January 13, 2023

Metaverse for Mobility and Sales

The Metaverse: Driving vValue in the Mobility sector and Sales

Mckinsey  January 4, 2023 | Article

This article is a collaborative effort by Kersten Heineke, Hamza Khan, Timo Möller, Dennis Schwedhelm, Shivam Srivastava, and Felix Ziegler, representing views from McKinsey’s Automotive & Assembly Practice.

Although a fully immersive, interconnected metaverse remains years away, mobility stakeholders can already capture real business value from the technologies designed to enable it.

Riding in a car is a very physical experience, from gripping the steering wheel to pressing down the gas pedal to feeling a jolt if the vehicle suddenly stops. One day, people may experience these same sensations by taking a virtual ride in the metaverse—the next iteration of the internet in which people can immerse themselves in a digital world that closely mimics reality.

The full-fledged metaverse will likely require at least five to ten years to materialize, but stakeholders in the mobility sector can already capture real business value from the “proto-metaverse.” This early incarnation relies on spatial computing and extended reality (XR), which is an umbrella term that includes augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). The proto-metaverse has already enhanced both sales and operations within the mobility sector, and many leading OEMs and other stakeholders are launching metaverse initiatives to explore their benefits to the core business.

Mobility moves toward the metaverse

This article examines how selected technologies, available today or in the near future, can help expand and diversify revenue streams in the mobility sector, enhance brand loyalty, improve customer experience, and optimize production. (For a more comprehensive look at current and future technologies, see sidebar “Mobility moves toward the metaverse.”) Going forward, could OEMs increase brand awareness with applications that let potential car buyers participate in highly realistic virtual races at Le Mans? Or could technicians walk customers through easy repairs at home using virtual twins of engines? Such experiences could be possible if the metaverse continues to advance. But even before the advent of such immersive experiences, OEMs still have much to gain from metaverse tools and concepts.

Kicking virtual tires: Customers in the metaverse

In a recent McKinsey consumer survey, 59 percent of respondents say that they prefer to conduct at least one daily activity, such as socializing, shopping, fitness, or education, in the virtual world rather than in person.1 Another survey also indicates that excitement about the future metaverse is consistently high across demographic groups, regardless of region, age, or gender.2

These findings bode well for greater use of metaverse-related experiences and technologies over the next few years, as do other recent developments. For instance, the market value of XR devices is expected to increase nearly tenfold, from $28 billion in 2021 to more than $250 billion in 2028.3

The metaverse showroom: Just a click away

Many potential car buyers now research vehicles online before buying, which partly explains why US consumers in 2017 visited only two dealerships before making a purchase, down from five in 2007.4 The pandemic has reduced the odds that potential buyers will find their vehicle of choice on the lot, however, because of supply chain disruptions. OEMs may partly compensate for the lack of inventory by using immersive virtual experiences to help potential buyers envision and configure their desired vehicles.

These new technologies go far beyond websites that allow users to click on different vehicle features to get information or cycle through custom options. RelayCars, for example, offers a mobile application with AR and 3-D visuals that allow users to explore thousands of cars. But even with more sophisticated online tools, the average car buyer will still want to see an actual car before making a purchase, since even the best online images may not provide the clarity and detail that a car buyer needs. ... ' 

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