BMW rolls out augmented reality technology to dealerships

Selected BMW dealership across 11 markets, including Britain, are to see the roll out of a new tool that will allow customers to view and experience the marque’s BMW1 cars through augmented reality technology.

The technology will be available in some dealerships from this week and will allow potential buyers, in the market for a hybrid or electric car to view and interact with the vehicles through virtual reality. Buyers will use their smartphones to produce a life-size image of the car in three dimensions.

Using the phones, equipped with Google’s Tango technology, punters will be able to view various finishes and colours and can even use the lights or open and close doors. Users will see the image by looking through the phone’s camera.

“In situations where the desired product isn’t available on the spot, this visualisation is the next best thing,” explained Andrea Castronovo, BMW Group’s Vice President.

Adding cutting-edge technology and tools to the buying process for customers has been a theme for franchised dealers over the past year, with many investing significantly in new sales tools that help to engage buyers and enhance the in-dealership experience in the face of increased competition from the online market. Doing so can boost sales, but dealers also need to be aware of increased financial liabilities involved with such investments. It’s vital to update traders combined insurance to reflect these increased liabilities.

The rolling out of the tool across the dealerships is seen by BMW as a test phase for the technology and it intends to make it available through an App, which would enable potential buyers to create the 3D image wherever they are.