HoloLens 2 Car

Microsoft and Volkswagen bringing augmented reality glasses to cars

New “moving platform” mode for HoloLens 2 overcomes a major limitation of mixed reality headsets

Microsoft is working with Volkswagen to bring HoloLens 2 augmented reality glasses to cars for the first time.

The concept is that you put on a pair of augmented reality glasses as you head out in the morning and get into your vehicle. As your self-driving car takes you to your destination, you get holographic displays of traffic information, weather conditions, shopping recommendations and architectural highlights along the way.

And as the day dawns, you can use holographic controls in front of you to adjust the interior temperature to your liking.

That’s the future of mobility envisioned by researchers at German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, who see augmented reality as one of the key components of future mobility concepts. To get a little closer to that vision, Volkswagen collaborated with Microsoft to enable the HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset to be used in moving vehicles for the first time.

The new “moving platform” mode for HoloLens 2 overcomes a major limitation of mixed reality headsets and creates potential for the technology to be used in new ways — training drivers to handle challenging road conditions, for example, or creating new user experiences for autonomous vehicles.

And while mobility is Volkswagen’s focus, the capability could in future be shared across other industries.

“We think mixed reality information is the most intuitive information we could provide to enhance our customers’ user experience,” says Dr. Andro Kleen, head of the data science team at Volkswagen Group Innovation.

“Because what you see there, and what you need to process, is very close to what humans normally see and process. It’s not so abstract.”