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Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Automotive – Thematic Research

This thematic research report takes an in-depth look at AR and VR technologies in the Automotive space, including how they intersect with retail, manufacturing, maintenance and development processes. The report includes an industry analysis looking at market size and growth forecasts, along with identifying key use cases specific to automotive. It also touches upon the potential for AR and VR to attract younger auto customers and the impact COVID-19 has had on the theme. We highlight top mergers and acquisitions within the theme along with a timeline of past and future milestones. Finally, in the companies’ section, we analyse the AR and VR-specific moves being made by major automakers to see what trends are emerging.


The automotive industry is fiercely competitive and defined by high volumes and low margins, meaning only the strongest survive. With the combustion engine’s days numbered and OEMs preparing to move to electrification, they must find other areas to differentiate their products. AR and VR present a novel way to mark their models out from rivals.

In addition to surprising and delighting customers, AR and VR have a larger role to play in the creation of new models. Designers can use simulated environments to preview new models in situ without committing to a scale clay model.

AR and VR can also play a role in improving the manufacturing process. It can be used to train new employees on existing processes by digitally guiding them through actions in physical space, or supplement existing manufacturing processes by adding more monitoring and quality control checks.

With fewer ways to differentiate models mechanically, automakers are looking to next-generation technologies such as AR and VR to attract new customers. These developments will build on existing infotainment setups to help brands stand out from the crowd.

AR and VR have already found their way into servicing and maintenance processes. Technicians are using headsets to augment their work stations with digital information to support tasks, or to directly interface with product experts to get repair information in real time.

This report is part of our ecosystem of thematic investment research reports, supported by our “thematic engine”.

About our Thematic Research Ecosystem

GlobalData has developed a unique thematic methodology for valuing technology, media and telecom companies based on their relative strength in the big investment themes that are impacting their industry. Whilst most investment research is underpinned by backwards looking company valuation models, GlobalData’s thematic methodology identifies which companies are best placed to succeed in a future filled with multiple disruptive threats. To do this, GlobalData tracks the performance of the top 600 technology, media and telecom stocks against the 50 most important themes driving their earnings, generating 30,000 thematic scores. The algorithms in GlobalData’s “thematic engine” help to clearly identify the winners and losers within the TMT sector. Our 600 TMT stocks are categorised into 18 sectors. Each sector scorecard has a thematic screen, a risk screen and a valuation screen. Our thematic research ecosystem has a three-tiered reporting structure: single theme, multi-theme and sector scorecard. This report is a Multi-Theme report, covering all stocks, all sectors and all themes, giving readers a strong sense of how everything fits together and how conflicting themes might interact with one another.

Reasons to Buy

Understand the impact AR and VR are having in the automotive space. Identify the emerging trends in AR and VR specific to the automotive industry and how these developments might advance in the future.

Learn about key use cases where AR and VR have become a critical technology to optimise a task or process.

GlobalData’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.

Our thematic investment research product, supported by our thematic engine, is aimed at senior (C-Suite) executives in the corporate world as well as institutional investors.

Corporations: Helps CEOs in all industries understand the disruptive threats to their competitive landscape

Investors: Helps fund managers focus their time on the most interesting investment opportunities in global TMT.

Our unique differentiator, compared to all our rival thematic research houses, is that our thematic engine has a proven track record of predicting winners and losers.

Companies Mentioned

Aston Martin, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Jaguar-Land Rover, Renault-Nissan, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Microsoft, HTC, Facebook, Amazon, Sony

Table of Contents


Executive summary


Technology briefing


Industry analysis

Value chain


Sector scorecards


Further reading

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