OBJECT-BASED AUGMENTED REALITY TOOL UNCOVERS INNER WORKINGS OF MITSUBISHI PLUG-IN TECHNOLOGY
In an effort to help consumers better understand the advanced technology behind Canada’s best-selling plug-in hybrid*, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada has launched the Outlander PHEV object-based augmented reality (AR) tool in Mitsubishi Motors dealerships across the country. The app-based technology is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play and is among the first object-based augmented reality retail tools in the marketplace.
“Our research shows that consumers are interested in buying hybrid electrified vehicles but don’t quite understand the differences between fully electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology and those differences are meaningful,” said Steve Carter, Director, Marketing, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. “We created this augmented reality tool to help consumers better understand the technology behind Outlander PHEV and open up the dialogue on how a plug-in hybrid SUV can fit their life.”
Featuring a highly efficient 2.0 litre gas engine and two highly efficient electric motors, the driver simply needs to drive to take advantage of the Outlander PHEVs three drive system modes which automatically adjusts for optimal performance and exceptional fuel efficiency. The three drive system modes are featured in the Outlander PHEV AR experience:
- EV Mode – 100 per cent electric powered. What truly sets the Outlander PHEV apart is the fact that it can run in 100 per cent EV mode in 4WD, something no other current plug-in hybrid SUV in the Canadian market can do.
- Series Hybrid Mode – When the energy level in the lithium-ion drive battery pack is low or when the need arises for a sudden and or additional degree of acceleration, the two electric motors continue to drive the vehicle while the gasoline-engine acts as a generator, providing additional energy to the battery pack and in turn to the two electric motors.
- Parallel Hybrid Mode – The gasoline engine drives the front wheels while the two electric motors positioned at the front and rear operate seamlessly when additional power is required i.e. driving uphill, high speeds on the highway. The gasoline powered engine/generator provides any excess energy back to the battery pack.
How Outlander PHEV AR Works
The Outlander PHEV AR tool overlays virtual animation to an actual vehicle to introduce the three drive modes in an interactive way. The immersive experience takes place while standing in front of an Outlander PHEV. Once activated the animation stays locked in place while the consumer physically moves around the vehicle to see how electricity, energy and power flows between the twin electric motors, generator and engine from the viewpoint of where the customer is standing. The tool is made possible through the application of a hyper-accurate tracking and registration coding technique into a tangible user interface.
Regenerative braking is also explored within the AR tool. Regenerative braking in the Outlander PHEV is used to generate additional electricity for the battery during deceleration whenever the accelerator pedal is released or when the driver engages the brakes. The front and rear motors function as generators so that electricity can be generated and fed back into the lithium battery pack.
The Outlander PHEV augmented reality tool was created in Canada with St. Joseph Communications.
“While we have created image-based augmented reality content experiences previously, Outlander PHEV AR is our first object-based augmented reality app and it takes the experience to a new level. There are very few companies let alone automakers that have introduced object-based augmented reality content to their customer base and its application fits perfectly for such a technologically advanced vehicle,” said Yvette Elliott, Group Director - Sales and Marketing, St. Joseph Communications.
The Outlander PHEV AR tool is the latest example of tablet-based technology introduced in Mitsubishi Motors dealerships in the last year to provide a dynamic and efficient customer experience.
Earlier this year, MiShowroom and MiDelivery were launched to aid sales consultants in enhancing the consumer journey from sales to vehicle delivery by helping to provide an accurate, real-time and transparent service to the customer.
MiShowroom provides instant information to the customer right from a tablet at the dealership. The customer and sales consultant through the MiShowroom app are able to view all specs and details related to the vehicle, build and price a vehicle on the spot and compare their prospective Mitsubishi vehicle to a competitor vehicle using JATO third party information.
Replacing a paper-based system, MiDelivery automates the many quality checks required for a Mitsubishi Motors delivery experience from a vehicle walk-around to prompting alerts to the sales consultant for follow-up calls to the customer. The MiDelivery system also prompts the booking of the first service appointment moving the customer to the MiCar service system which the dealership uses to manage service appointments.
The customer is also able to manage their own service appointments and easily communicate with their dealership with MyMitsubishi.
Recently, Mitsubishi Motors announced a new dealer image program that will see more interactive, tablet based tools for the customer and sales consultant to use in the near future.