Into the metaverse: Nissan’s latest tool for enhanced customer experiences
Find out how the metaverse can help to meet the changing needs of customers.
Metaverse – the word has burst into popularity, bringing together exciting technologies including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, and much more. For Nissan, the metaverse represents a new platform for advancing its corporate purpose: driving innovation to enrich customers' lives - and exploring new ways to support them.
"The metaverse offers incredibly new, exciting, and valuable opportunities for Nissan. We are eager to build upon this technology and explore what the future holds and are thrilled to bring our customers along on this journey," says Coralie Musy, Vice President, Brand & Customer Experience for Nissan Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania (AMIEO).
What is the metaverse?
Simply put, the metaverse represents a virtual and immersive online space which unites the physical world with the digital. A common misconception is that the metaverse is the same as VR. And while it is true that VR is a big part of the metaverse, the two terms are not interchangeable.
Because the metaverse is an emerging technology, its scale and scope are yet to be defined. Therefore, it is open to interpretation. This means that AR phone filters and decentralised gaming platforms – both of which extend our realities – are as much a part of the metaverse as VR experiences and holograms.
How can the automotive industry leverage the metaverse?
For the automotive industry, the metaverse presents exciting opportunities – from design conception and manufacturing to after-sales services and support. For instance, Nissan is already using AR and VR technologies to develop and consolidate the design of upcoming cars. Designers from studios across the world virtually join online spaces to review prototypes together, interact with them, and even make certain modifications, all in real time. The technology tremendously facilitates discussion and accelerates the approval process to move on to the development phase.
The metaverse also opens up new ways of training teams, by augmenting manufacturing processes with mixed reality (MR). On the other hand, companies can also use the metaverse to build virtual showrooms for visitors to explore vehicles, through immersive experiences that are truly unique.
Nissan's metaverse projects
Recognising that customers are increasingly looking for innovation that excites, Nissan's recent projects in the region and across the world explore how the metaverse can do just that.
Nissan goes virtual with the Sakura – Japan
In May 2022, Nissan unveiled the Nissan Sakura – a Japan-specific, all-electric minivehicle – in the metaverse, alongside its real-world launch. As part of the experience, VRChat users all over the world could explore the Nissan Sakura Driving Island, where they could virtually test drive the car and even charge it, while enjoying traditional Japanese tea and sweets.
Ariya in the Metaverse – UK
Earlier this year, Nissan in the UK developed a metaverse campaign for the launch of the all-new electric Ariya. Nissan engaged five local artists from diverse backgrounds to create electrified, clean-air versions of their respective cities – Birmingham, London, Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester.
Users were then taken to the metaspace through the Nissan Electrified Lab, an immersive desktop and mobile experience in which users could interact with a virtual model of the Ariya, and take a portal to visit the electrified cities.
Nissan Italy e-POWER Metaverse – Italy
In a separate project, Nissan in Italy has announced the e-POWER Metaverse on Decentraland. Visitors will be able to explore the new e-POWER engine, while discovering key features of the electrified Nissan Qashqai.
A customised avatar welcomes visitors to the Nissan showroom, leading them through the interactive experience to discover the inner workings of e-POWER and the Qashqai. Users will also be able to participate in guided learning experiences where they can deep dive into the advantages of this new engine system and take part in a contest to win a 24-hour long test drive of the Qashqai at physical dealerships. What's more, they can also redeem items to customize their virtual avatars, as additional rewards for participating.