Holoride: Audi’s VR solution to boring journeys - and car sickness

Published: 10 January 2019

► Uses existing VR and car tech
► Holoride is a start-up by Audi
► Entertainment and productivity tool

Virtual reality may be a buzzword thrown around at every CES press conference, but Audi looks to have found a genuinely useful application from the tech. By using a combination of vehicle data and VR, the brand from Ingolstadt may have just made all car journeys fun – or productive, depending on your priorities.

The idea isn’t that complex. Passengers in the back seats don VR headsets, and then a counterpart virtual world is created for them using data from the vehicle. If the car turns left, the spaceship you’re flying in the game turns left, too.

Equally, junctions and traffic lights could also serve as checkpoints or power-up areas.

Our full guide to CES 2019

This comes with two key benefits: not only does the game feel more engaging, but because the real-life movements you feel correspond to something you can see, you’re less likely to get car sick, too.

Right now the technology is in a demo stage, but Holoride – the start-up Audi has formed to scale-up and develop this tech – already has one possible client. We were shown what the technology could do using Disney's Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket's Rescue Run and it makes a convincing case.

Better than a portable DVD player?

Unlike a film, games don’t have a time limit, so levels can be as long or as short as the journey you’re taking – but Audi believes the tech could be used for more than games. By using the same principles to account for the motion of the car, the technology could eliminate motion sickness when doing 2D tasks such as reading, typing or watching a film.

When’s Holoride coming out?

We were told the technology has only been in development for around two years now, but Audi is keen to use its new Holoride subsidiary to scale and acquire partners quickly.

The next big thing? It actually could be, as the technology to make it happen does exist, and the price of VR headsets continues to fall.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast