Have you heard techie friends throwing words like “Augmented Reality” and “AR” around? They’re talking about different ways that technology can enhance the world around you visually, and bring new elements into it, digitally. In the past it was the stuff of imagination featured in movies like Robocop, Terminator and, more recently, Iron Man…



… but we’re getting closer to using it in everyday life. We recently explored how Porsche is using AR to help you try one out in your driveway here .

This time, we explore how AR can help you find the right car for your needs (and wishes). Car manufacturers and marketers are using AR in browsing, buying and fixing to make the whole process easier for you.


Explain Augmented Reality again?

Augmented reality (AR) is reality viewed through a device, with add-ons, or as Forbes puts it, “a computer-generated image of a person’s view”. It lets you see something that’s not there in an environment that is. Usually, you use a device like your phone or tablet to experience AR. The camera on your device records your surroundings and run it through the AR software where it projects objects onto it in 2D and 3D. You can often interact with these objects or move or change them by touching them on your device’s screen. Wondering how a new couch will look in your lounge? IKEA-d you not, you can see it with AR.



Other awesome examples of AR include beauty brand Sephora letting you try false lashes, lipstick and eyeshadow on (if you have an iPhone).

But back to the dream car, eh?

Car shopping, enhanced

Forbes reports that car dealerships across the planet are using AR to make it easier for you to buy a car or learn about it.

If a dealership has limited floor space, or the newest models haven’t yet arrived, you can still “see” them with AR. You can use it to explore a model’s features and perks. Here are a few examples to inspire you:


  1. Virtually test-“drive” a Jaguar Velar
    You do it on your feet, with a phone in your hand. Jaguar shows you what the world would look like if you were sitting inside its Velar model. “The transparent windows gave consumers the sensation of actually being sat in the car” says partner Blippar. While you’re ‘driving’, you can touch hotspots to see more on key features like the entertainment system.



2. Scroll through Hyundai looks, mate.
Want to see if the Hyundai model you’re after comes in an interior shade to suit today’s manicure? In Australia, you can do this with AR by sitting inside a real one and using an iPad app to “see” more. Tapping through textures, finishes, colours while in the car seat – what a treat. Let’s hope it launches here soon.



  1. Stalk hot cars in real life.
    It’s like swipe right for cars. Hyundai took the technology mentioned above one step further to let you shop on the street. You can scan Hyundai models parked in real life on the side of the road and get info about them. It will even find you a dealership to sell you one on the spot. The app knows you’re a smart shopper and “can access a customer’s financial data to be able to provide personalised financing and insurance quotes.” We can, too. Without an app. Tap here for car insurance info tailored to you.
  2. Service a Porsche in cyberspace. Sort of.
    Even dream cars need TLC from time to time. Using custom AR glasses that you wear; Porsche has created live-view software that shoots footage of your actual Porsche’s engine. It transmits the data wirelessly to a remote Porsche expert who can diagnose and advise on next steps. So, while you may not be learning how to fix it yourself, you will certainly be less confused when you open the bonnet next.