Mazda Virtual Test Drive Lets Prospective Buyers Journey Through The Italian Alps

Mazda Virtual Test Drive Lets Prospective Buyers Journey Through The Italian Alps
Automotive

A VR pop-up inside U.K. shopping centers brings the thrill of driving a Mazda to everyone, and will soon make an appearance at the brand's dealerships

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 7 august 2018

One of the most fun parts of shopping for a new car is taking it for a test drive. Automakers generally are trying to make getting seat time in a new model easier for people, offering options like pickup and drop-off services from home or work. However, even these efforts don’t completely eliminate scheduling or weather-related issues that could pose problem to enabling the all-important pre-purchase trial.

Mazda is offering an alternative, using technology to provide a different test drive experience that doesn’t even require a driver’s license. Since the fall of 2017, Mazda U.K. has been staging pop-ups inside shopping centers featuring virtual reality test drives. The program started with the U.K. launch of the CX-5 crossover and has expanded for 2018 to include the MX-5 sports car.

Once a pair of VR goggles are strapped on, visitors can hop in either vehicle and experience a drive on a twisty road through the Italian Alps or a few laps on the Longcross test track physically located southwest of London. The VR journey is more of a “ride along” experience, not letting participants actually steer, accelerate and brake. All the same, the addition of VR aims to provide a dynamic element to what would ordinarily be a static car display in a shopping mall.

Mazda isn’t limiting the VR experiences to just these popups: Dealerships will soon receive VR headsets that will allow shoppers to experience an interactive brochure and forthcoming virtual content developed specially for dealerships.

Beyond the VR project, Mazda of Europe offers the free Drive Together app that includes the ability to see Mazda concept cars and production vehicles in augmented reality.

Mazda

One of the most fun parts of shopping for a new car is taking it for a test drive. Automakers generally are trying to make getting seat time in a new model easier for people, offering options like pickup and drop-off services from home or work. However, even these efforts don’t completely eliminate scheduling or weather-related issues that could pose problem to enabling the all-important pre-purchase trial.

+Automotive
+italy
+mazda
+Mazda UK
+retail
+Shopper Marketing
+shopper marketing & promotions
+UK

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