Daily Insights

Take a Digital Drive

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jun 29, 2020

Luxury auto brand Lexus released a new app, Lexus AR Play, designed to let consumers preview its 2021 IS sedan. 

Utilizing augmented reality, app users can take a 360-degree tour of the vehicle, including opening the doors and the trunk, and looking inside the vehicle. To fully immerse viewers in the vehicle, Lexus added a gamification feature that allows users to “drive” the car. The feature helps users virtually drive the sedan like they would a remote control toy car. Lexus AR Play also includes 3D capabilities to provide users with up close views of the car’s technical features, engine, and structure. The app also includes the eight available colors the 2021 IS comes in, with users able to click through all the different versions to see which color they prefer. Lastly, app users can take photos of the car and share them straight to their social media accounts from the app. 

Lexus is also providing app users with audio narration that explains all of the design elements, performance functionalities, and safety features. The narration is designed to answer any questions consumers may have had if they were at a Lexus dealership speaking with a salesperson. As many younger consumers prefer to use their mobile devices for researching cars, instead of an auto brand site, Lexus’ new app could appeal to a large audience of potential buyers, according to a Gartner report. All of the available app features could also deliver a more realistic view of the Lexus vehicle, compared to the still images many consumers are used to scrolling through online in lieu of visiting dealerships during the pandemic. As the 2021 IS is not yet widely available, creating an immersive mobile experience to promote its arrival could strengthen engagement with consumers while building up anticipation for road trips, which have seen an increased interest from Americans looking to safely travel during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Lexus’ new app provides all the benefits of visiting a showroom without having to leave the house, and with many locations remaining closed around the country—and no set timeline for reopening—developing an immersive, mobile experience could leave consumers feeling more comfortable buying a vehicle despite the pandemic.