Virtual Reality Car Simulator: How It Works

Car sales exploded in April, but that run on the dealerships also put a crunch on inventory for May. According to Cox Automotive, the remaining supply after the April sales boom was 2.24 million vehicles—approximately 440,000 fewer vehicles than the available inventory at the end of March. Unfortunately, that lower inventory also may be further exacerbated by the microchip shortage.

Looking for a new car might need to begin online for consumers looking for favorite models or backup models to add to their wish list. Consumers can test drive RelayCars’ virtual car simulator to preview vehicles online and find the models that fit their personal taste, budget and lifestyle needs.

Car Shopping with a Virtual Reality Car Simulator

According to data from Cox Automotive’s 11th annual Car Buyer Journey Study,  third-party sites like Kelley Blue Book (a Cox Automotive site) were popular with shoppers with “…up to 79% of buyers noting they used a third-party site in 2020.”

These sites might be popular research destinations for shoppers wanting to find out how much their car is worth or to browse data about other makes or models.

Other third-party sites like RelayCars can be used during the research phase of the hunt to further explore vehicles beyond typical two-dimensional photos. Car shopping with a virtual reality car simulator offers shoppers a virtual showroom that displays the car in 3D and allows consumers to interact with the vehicle, too.

Virtual Reality Car Simulator

Exploring the VR Car

Exploring the car in virtual reality is fun…and easy! Using just the fingertips, consumers can enlarge the vehicle or even look inside. The VR car also can be viewed from different angles and vantage points so that users can get more insight about the car, its shape and its overall size. The VR cars and vehicles are all scaled model representations of the real vehicle.

In the virtual reality car showroom, users also can swap out the paint hues of the vehicle. This can help shoppers decide what paint colors they prefer.

The Pre-Owned Virtual Car

RelayCars doesn’t just include new makes and models. The virtual car inventory also includes older models, which can help shoppers who might be on the hunt for pre-owned vehicles. An earlier model of the same vehicle could be an option for consumers who really want a specific car.  

The virtual cars on RelayCars aren’t depictions of any single pre-owned model; they are simply a 3D replica of that specific model year. These virtual cars can provide insight about the interior and other features of earlier models.

Exploring Virtual Cars

Looking for an SUV? Click through the offerings from different brands. Compare Volkswagen to Nissan or Infiniti. Look inside the different models and get an idea about the leg room and interior set-up.

For some buyers, the color of the car might be a big deal. Right now, though, when some car models might face an inventory crunch, getting particular about color might not be an option. Use RelayCars to check out all the offered hues for a particular model. When heading to the dealership, shoppers will know in advance if they like the look of a certain color.

Virtual Reality Car Simulator

Augmented Reality Cars vs. Virtual Cars

The RelayCars app is offered in augmented reality and virtual reality. What’s the difference? The virtual reality showroom app displays cars in a virtual environment.  

With RelayCars, users choose a vehicle from the inventory list. However, instead of the car being displayed in a virtual showroom on the phone, the user actually drops the car into their environment.

How does this work exactly? The app accesses the device’s camera to show a 3D image of the chosen vehicle in whatever space the user chooses to place it. The vehicle can be dropped in the driveway, a garage, the backyard or even the living room. Users can then walk around the vehicle while viewing the augmented reality image with their phone. Yes, users can even look inside the car and change the paint color, too!

Why Use a Virtual Reality Car Showroom?

In the past—before Covid—car shoppers might have researched options online and then visited dealerships for a test drive or to explore the car in person. Dealerships might have closed to foot traffic, which meant shoppers had to find other ways to preview vehicles. The virtual showrooms might have been a great option to simulate the in-person experience.

An augmented reality showroom may save time and cut down the need for a lengthier visit to dealerships.

With RelayCars, car shoppers can preview many popular makes and models and see these cars up close…albeit virtually. This can help buyers sort through cars they don’t like and find the models that best meet their needs. And their budgets.

Visiting the dealership then can become more of a streamlined process. Shoppers enter the dealership with a list of top vehicle models—or maybe just one. Then they can explore the vehicle in person, take a test drive and pursue the deal. Or they may simply decide to move forward with a different model.

Explore Virtual Cars

Covid might have relaxed the shopping experience for consumers. It’s true that online shopping has been quite popular for some time, but car buying really wasn’t so virtual before the pandemic. Consumers researched online, but many visited the dealership for test drives and to iron out the paperwork.

Staying at home, working virtually and shopping virtually might have led to more consumers feeling comfortable using online resources to go virtual with bigger purchases, too. Online resources like RelayCars might help decrease the time at the dealership, while dealer resources like virtual test drives delivered to the door could give the buyer a bit more control.

Consumers can now find the ideal vehicle then research prices, promotions and other incentives at dealerships. If one SUV is out of the budget, explore other options virtually…then look up those prices.

Exploring the virtual inventory is fun, but it’s also empowering. Preview those cars, then dig deeper. Find prices, promotions, and maybe even read reviews. Use RelayCars to begin the car-shopping journey and to take the driver’s seat of the buying process.