Automakers Nissan and Toyota unveil Metaverse projects

Two of Japan’s top automakers have announced that they are now using metaverse technologies in their business models. While Nissan and Toyota both use technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), they appear to have different goals with their metaverse efforts.

According to initial reports, Nissan is most interested in using the metaverse to improve the customer experience. For example, car manufacturer Yokohama recently unveiled a metaverse showroom on the VRChat platform.

This new virtual space is based on the company’s official Nissan Crossing in Ginza and highlights Nissan’s eco-friendly Ariya line. Visitors to the virtual Nissan Crossing can get a taste of upcoming cars and learn more about Nissan’s commitment to the environment.

Nissan also revealed more details about its metaverse-focused “Invisible-to-Visible” (I2V) initiative. On Nissan Global’s website, the company defines I2V as a “3D augmented reality interface” that can identify data drivers cannot pick up in physical reality. The goal of I2V is to make the driver’s experience both safer and “more enjoyable”. Executives predict that I2V will be fully integrated into Nissan models by 2025.

Toyota, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in using the metaverse to give its employees more work flexibility. Japan’s largest automaker has already deployed VR-based workspaces to many of its divisions. Employees can use in-game avatars in these virtual offices to attend conferences and talk to colleagues.

Toyota leaders said the COVID-19 lockdowns were a major reason they decided to create metaverse offices. Toyota also suggested that its virtual workspaces would provide new employees with more opportunities to interact with multiple departments and senior management.

Global automakers rush to Web3

Nissan and Toyota are far from the only automakers seeing potential in the metaverse. Indeed, some rival companies like Hyundai have already jumped first in the metaverse and NFTs.

As Rarity Sniper recently reported, Hyundai is the first global automaker to develop an NFT community, complete with official Discord and Twitter pages. About a week ago, the South Korean car company released an ad highlighting its new collaboration with the Meta Kongz NFT collection. Before the big Meta Kongz announcement, Hyundai released art NFTs for its Kia models and even opened a virtual oil bank in the Zepeto metaverse.

German automaker Volkswagen also unveiled its first metaverse-related trailer in South Africa earlier this year. This new advertisement, titled ‘Game On’, focused on the new Polo GTI with advanced IQ.Drive safety technology. Interestingly, Volkswagen hid dozens of Easter eggs in its ad, encouraging South African viewers to claim NFT prizes on social media.

Alfa Romeo is also a big believer in using NFTs, but this Italian carmaker isn’t all that interested in making digital collectibles for fans. Instead, the Alfa Romeo team uses NFT technology to verify their vehicles and keep track of each car’s maintenance. The luxury brand recently announced that the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV will receive NFT certification in 2023.

Whether it’s the metaverse or NFTs, automakers are becoming increasingly interested in Web3’s capabilities.

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