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Brief Updated: 14 Apr 2015

Virtual Thrills: Chevrolet’s VR-Powered Test Drive

Chevrolet's custom Oculus Rift headset

Building on the recent emergent stream of virtual reality (VR) car customisation tools, Chevrolet – a division of US automobile giant GM – has teamed up with UK-based global digital marketing agency Isobar to create CoDriver. The VR sales experience gives participants a co-steered, immersive off-road adventure to showcase the vehicle’s rugged capabilities.

Titled ‘The Delivery’, the experience deploys Oculus Rift technology – a VR headset that originated in the gaming industry – to transfer consumers from the showroom to a live-action adventure in the New Zealand wilderness. Wearing the headsets, participants sit in a specially modified version of Chevrolet’s Colorado pick-up truck – imparting the sight, sound and feel of driving one off-road. The car also vibrates to match the actions being visualised on-screen.

The partnership, which builds on the strengths of VR as both a marketing tool and a selling tool, premiered at the 36th Bangkok International Motor Show this month, with Chevrolet announcing it will be bringing CoDriver to showrooms later in 2015.

Una Tan, marketing manager of Chevrolet Sales in Thailand, explained: “We want our customers to experience the capabilities of the Colorado in a tough and rugged environment. It would be impossible to take all our customers on an off-road adventure in New Zealand, so we are bringing the location and the action to them via this VR simulation.”

To see how other automotive brands are using VR in showroom experiences, see VR-Powered Audi Showroom Experience, Innovations in Automotive Retailing and Immersive Brand Spaces

For more on the broader spectrum of retail-focused VR, see Virtual Immersive Commerce in our Post-Digital Macro Trend and Future Innovations (the V-Commerce section), Retail in Virtual Gaming and Virtual Stores and Media Facades within our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend.