Mitsubishi to Use Augmented Reality to Help Sell Outlander



At West Side Mitsubishi in Edmonton, we're excited to share some amazing Mitsubishi news. Utilizing the latest in Mitsubishi technology, customers will be able to use an augmented reality app to explore and understand the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). For now, Mitsubishi is debuting this technology only in Canada, so we'll be among the first to explore this new frontier in high-tech auto sales.  

The Outlander PHEV

  We may still be getting to know it in North America, but globally the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the world's best-selling plug-in hybrid SUV. It's no wonder it's popular: the Outlander PHEV combines the cargo space and go-anywhere utility of an all-wheel-drive SUV with the efficiency of a gas-electric hybrid with plug-in charging capability.  

The Augmented Reality App

  Since the Outlander PHEV only arrived in Canada about a year ago, that makes this a perfect place to debut an augmented reality app to help customers learn more about the SUV's technology. St. Joseph Communication of North York, Ontario developed the app, which works on tablets. The app helps sales persons to assist customers in visualizing and understanding the Outlander PHEV's technology.   The sales person begins the demonstration by pointing the tablet's camera toward a visible portion of the Outlander such as a wheel. The app locks onto the wheel and from that point on it knows which part of the SUV it's viewing. Now the viewer can walk around the outside of the vehicle while keeping the tablet's camera pointed at it, and the app will overlay an image of the Outlander's inner technology on its screen. It's like having Superman's x-ray vision to see through the Outlander's exterior and visualize its inner workings. The tablet displays information in both English and French.  

What You'll Be Able to See

Don Ulmer, senior manager of product planning for Mitsubishi Motors Sales of Canada, was on hand at the app's introduction. The event took place at the Plug'n Drive Discovery Centre in North York, a non-profit facility that educates the public about electric vehicles. "Up until now the salesman had to verbally explain to the customer how the system works, and for somebody who is maybe not as knowledgeable about technological things, it may be difficult to grasp the explanation," Ulmer said. But with the app, "The consumer can actually see a kind of virtual reality almost of what's going on with the vehicle."   For instance, the app can show the viewer a representation of the engine, battery pack, and wheels and how power flows to and from each component depending on which drive mode the vehicle is in. Even better, the app also works on the Outlander PHEV's infotainment screen. This means the customer can see a demonstration of how the Outlander's hybrid drivetrain works in the showroom, then go out on the road and see how it works in real-time. This can help the customer to understand how the hybrid system saves fuel, as well as how far the Outlander PHEV can go in pure electric mode on a single charge. It's the sales tool of the future, for the vehicle of the future.  
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