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Phygital Escapism

Nissan puts virtual rider avatars in the passenger seat

Nissan has unveiled virtual reality (VR) passengers to keep drivers company in autonomous cars during long journeys. At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese carmaker demonstrated how passengers could appear out of thin air, giving lonely drivers someone to talk to whether they are stuck in traffic or cruising along on a weekend drive. Their focus is on the anticipated need for virtual reality companions once the automotive world eventually rolls out autonomous cars that don’t require drivers to pay attention to the road.

The technology is being designed so that an avatar could at some point deliver some “emotional feeling” for drivers who want to share an experience with someone, such as commenting on the scenery as it goes by.



Sydney Kidd, Strategist, Human Centered Design, Idea Couture

Sydney Kidd

Strategist, Human Centered Design, Idea Couture