As you sit in traffic today, you’re surrounded by other cars, trucks, vans and buses all with one thing in common: They have drivers. Now take those drivers away. It’s one thing to daydream about an autonomous future. It’s another to imagine the entire autonomous world where you’re surrounded by some sort of self-driving pods. Maybe they all have no windows for privacy — after all, the occupants might be working, or working out, or sleeping. On the inside they have virtual “windows” showing what’s passing by — a feature already being put into place on airplanes.
What will that future be like? How will that make you feel? What possible future anxieties can carmakers and tech companies head off to make sure that as this future becomes the present, people can make the transition smoothly and comfortably.
One way to answer those questions is through virtual reality testing. Ipsos is already using VR to test car concepts. It can shorten the time and cost of getting an idea to market and allow for real-time feedback on aspects of the car experience that we just can’t test with concept boards or prototypes. How does it feel to sit in? Is the size and scale right for you? We can answer a broader range of questions with these new technologies.
We can do even more with the testing of autonomous vehicles by creating rich immersive experiences of different versions of future worlds. You’ll be surrounded by augmented reality billboards, self-driving cars or even flying cars. If a client can dream it, we can test it. To take it a step further by measuring biometrics like EEGs and galvanic skin response, we don’t even have to ask the questions. We’ll know how you are reacting.
Testing virtual worlds is the true power of VR in market research. It allows us to test a tomorrow that we can’t otherwise test today.