Digitalization becomes the "game changer" of the caravanning experience. It starts with the purchase. In a virtual world, future buyers can configure their new motorhome in peace – and even set off on the first test drive.
The electrically driven camper rolls down the Autostrada towards the sea. Displays in the side windows indicate tourist highlights along the route. And when darkness falls, you lean back, relax and only wake up when you reach the programmed parking position with a view of the sea. What can already be experienced today as a virtual demonstration provides a glimpse into the caravanning of the future. Using VR glasses, the visitor dives into the autonomous future and experiences a trip south inside a self-propelled motorhome.
However, the focus of the virtual reality application – developed at the Erwin Hymer Group's Innovation Camp – was on a different aspect. Very close to everyday camper life, the developers knew only too well that when shopping for a new motorhome, catalogs and price lists as thick as a finger are often laid out on living room tables and whole evenings with hours of Internet research are devoted to floor plans or optional extras. An exhausting selection process often precedes the pleasure of finally being able to start a holiday with the new motorhome. And if requirements are defined and suitable possibilities are determined, potential buyers want to physically inspect the object of their desire before they sign for it. However, it is not uncommon for a chosen model to not be available in the lot of a nearby retailer.
Virtual reality is the magic phrase that will open up a whole new dimension in the purchasing process of motorhomes and caravans in the future. With VR glasses on their heads, prospective customers – regardless of their actual location – can be beamed into the interior of the desired vehicle, where they can try out different layouts or change furniture configurations, colors and fabrics at will. The digital 360°-degree technology makes it possible to walk around the vehicle and even open drawers and doors. The experience is comparable to a tour in a real exhibition vehicle. In the future, the question of whether a vehicle is too small or too large will no longer have to be answered using real exhibits – VR glasses will do just fine.
VR technology can exemplify the benefits of digitalization for retail partners in particular, because it offers the potential to reduce the number of vehicles in stock while still providing a realistic impression of each equipment variant. In concrete terms, the VR advantage can also be experienced in CROSSCAMP: from the front passenger seat and turned against the direction of travel, the various seat configurations can be displayed in seconds thanks to VR glasses – as can the removable kitchen, which transforms the CROSSCAMP from a compact camper into a spacious van. Those who leave the vehicle with VR glasses on can look at the CROSSCAMP from the outside and click their way through the color and wheel program to the CROSSCAMP of their choice. They just can't drive away with it yet.