Nissan is reportedly giving Nissan Ariya reservation holders free VR headsets to see their upcoming vehicle (almost) firsthand.
Nissan has seen the lousy press a company can garner if the launch of its first EV doesn’t go well, the Toyota BZ4X being a perfect example. But with the Nissan Ariya still without a delivery date, the company needs a way to allow their customers to experience the vehicle that doesn’t require the car to be there. Enter the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset, pre-loaded with a 3D model of the Nissan Ariya for Nissan customers to enjoy.
According to several posts on numerous Nissan Forums, Nissan Ariya reservation holders are receiving an email detailing how they can get a free Meta Quest 2 VR headset. The email states that the headset is pre-loaded with a virtual rendering of the vehicle, allowing the customer to see and interact with it for the first time.
There were mixed reactions. Many were elated that the company was, in essence, sending them a free $400 VR headset. Yet others appeared disappointed that they still hadn’t received a delivery date for the vehicle, nor any way to track their order’s progress as Nissan prepares for launch.
Nissan did not immediately respond to Teslarati for comment.
Nissan has been experimenting with VR customer interactions for a while now. For their other new electric vehicle, the Japan-only Nissan Sakura Kei car, customers had a similar experience. With a VR headset, they could explore the car inside and out and even drive it on a virtual roadway.
Other car makers have also attempted to “digitize” the test drive and shopping experience. While still in the real world, Volkswagen introduced Amazon Alexa to their test drives of the VW ID.4 earlier this year. Thus arises the question; is the virtual substitute worth the investment?
Data isn’t immediately available showing whether a virtual experience, such as driving a car or exploring its interior, can equal that of the real thing. In Nissan’s case, the virtual option gives the largest number of people the fundamental experience of the vehicle, even if it lacks quality. However, when pursuing a higher quality experience, virtual reality (at least for now) lacks the substance of the real thing; are the seats comfortable, does your head hit the roof, is it a smooth driving experience, etc.?
At the very least, Nissan has given its customers the first taste of its upcoming vehicle, yet something tells me nothing will replace seeing the real thing.
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