Introducing Audi Holoride: The Future of In-Car Entertainment

Introducing Audi Holoride - AMT

Not so long ago, a single small touchscreen display in the front of a car was a remarkable piece of technology that wowed drivers and auto journalists alike. The concept soon spread toward providing one or more larger screens in the rear, keeping back-seat passengers quietly occupied on longer journeys. And while great infotainment of this kind is still an essential part of any new car's specs, things are about to take a huge leap forward with the announcement that premium automaker Audi will be adding holoride virtual reality capability to selected models in their range, starting in just a few months.

The announcement marks an industry first, transforming the rear seats of an automobile into an experience platform for virtual reality, and here's what you can expect when the holoride system arrives in Canada.

What is Holoride?

Holoride is a new virtual reality (VR) system developed to fully interface with the car as it drives. It allows rear-seat passengers to enjoy a deep VR experience that adapts to the way the car is accelerating, steering, and braking, integrating the movement into the VR world the passenger is currently enjoying.

The system can deliver any type of media, from games to films to full VR. But one of the first demonstrated uses is to transform every journey into a virtual reality theme park ride, where the user's experience is directly influenced by the car's movement to become seamlessly immersive.

And while so far this might sound like just another novelty for the auto industry, it actually has a valuable real-world use. By replacing the static car interior or flat-screen images with fully synchronized action, the holoride makers say that travel sickness and journey fatigue will be greatly reduced - an outcome that will be appreciated by countless parents taking their kids on longer road trips.

But the holoride makers say that this is only the start of the possibilities the system will offer. Creative game and media designers are sure to find inventive ways of using real-world motion to deliver a mesmerizing experience in the virtual world, turning every ride into a VR journey.


What is Holoride? - Audi Midtown Toronto

Next-Level Virtual Reality Gaming

One potential use for the software is shown in a trailer released by the holoride company itself. It features a young rear-seat passenger looking bored with the journey in her adults' Audi e-tron. Reaching for the VR headset, she's instantly transferred into a gaming world where a combination of the vehicle's movement and her own use of a hand controller create a completely integrated - and time-passing - VR experience that leaves everyone in the car happier and more relaxed.

Holoride is the Next-Level Virtual Reality Gaming - Audi Midtown Toronto

What Do You Need for Holoride in Your Audi?

To use holoride in an Audi, you'll need both a compatible virtual reality headset and the latest version of Audi's advanced infotainment software, the Modular Infotainment Toolkit, the third generation of which is known as MIB 3.

The Modular Infotainment toolkit was originally launched in 2010, with MIB 3 first appearing in the 2020 A4 and A5 models. It's included in nearly all current Audi vehicles from the 2021 model year onward. Based on electronics that run around ten times faster than previous generations, and equipped with an expanded range of connectivity options including 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi bands, MIB 3 offers an unparalleled range of in-car functions. However, in its current incarnation, holoride compatibility is not yet installed.

When Will Holoride Be Available in Canada?

Audi plans to release vehicles with holoride compatibility starting in June 2022 by upgrading the MIB 3 software on a selected lineup of models. The first ranges to receive the upgrade will include the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Audi Q5, Q7, Q8, Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron GT Quattro. This means the most popular new Audi cars in major markets including Canada will be holoride compatible from June onward, with the holoride technology itself available as an easy upgrade as the product rolls out worldwide.

Holoride Availability in Canada - AMT

The Future of the Audi Augmented Reality Experience

For now, for both legal and safety reasons, holoride use is confined to rear-seat passengers, with several restrictions including:

  • Users must have a minimum height of 1.5m.
  • Users must be sitting in the sides of the rear seats rather than the middle.
  • Headset wearers mustn't be able to physically reach the front row from their own seating position.

However, the fast-approaching future of autonomous driving seems set to open up yet more possibilities for the Audi Augmented reality experience. Drivers will be free to concentrate on work tasks or entertainment, with the virtual reality dimension potentially linking into the much-vaunted 'metaverse' concept to allow true working, socializing and entertainment wherever your Audi may take you. The extra time this will free up has been dubbed the '25th hour' by Audi, and while it might not be on the immediate horizon, it's clear that it'll be with us sooner than we perhaps imagine.

The Future of the Audi Augmented Reality Experience - AMT

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