Fiat, an automotive brand owned by Stellantis, has launched its first metaverse-based store, which the company says is the first showroom of its kind. The experience, which was developed with technologies provided by Touchcast and Microsoft, aims to make the virtual process of examining a car more interactive.
Fiat introduces a store based on the Metaverse
Fiat, a car brand owned by one of the world’s top ten automakers, Stellantis, has opened a store based on Metaverse, its first virtual metaverse. The company will allow customers to experience the inside and outside of one of its models, the New 500 La Prima by Bocelli, through a virtual simulation of the model.
The showroom will allow users to examine the car via a 360-degree view of the model, and test the systems and infotainment package the company offers on the vehicle. Customers will also be able to modify the car’s appearance and equipment based on the version and options chosen, and even drive the vehicle on a virtual course.
Olivier Francois, CEO of Fiat and Global Stellantis CMO, stressed the importance of this type of experience for the development of the brand. He stated:
Fiat’s metaverse store is the first of its kind in the automotive sector. It is a magical experience: an immersive and human journey into the world of Fiat. Simple and user-friendly, it follows the idea of “tech it easy” and is accessible to all.
To produce this experience, the company used the Touchcast platform, which relies on Microsoft Cloud as its backbone to deliver a metaverse experience without headphones.
Human assistance and program extension
Other companies have also tested such programs to extend the reach of their products far beyond what in-store car dealerships can do. However, Fiat differentiates itself from other brands by allowing customers to be accompanied by what it calls a “product genius,” a real person who will be able to answer questions the potential buyer has about the vehicle’s capabilities and the specifics of the sales process.
A downside to this is that the metaverse showroom functions as a real showroom and is not available 24/7 to customers.
The brand plans to increase the number of models available in the showroom by the end of 2022, and to offer more vehicles in the metaverse showroom in the first half of 2023. Stellantis did not say whether the technology will be expanded to other company brands.
Other automotive companies are also using metavers as part of their operations. Renault is using an industrial metaverse to optimize its production, with the goal of saving $330 million by 2025. In September, Ford filed 19 trademark applications to protect and develop its brand image in the metaverse.