360 Degrees of Automotive Training

360 Degrees of Automotive Training What will the future of automotive training look like?

We asked ourselves this question as we roamed through miles and miles of futuristic gadgets at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Everything imaginable was there – from home automation and gaming to fitness, wellness and, of course, automotive technology.


Everything is getting cooler, sleeker and even more cost effective. Yet what stands out is how cars are becoming even more technology driven. With over a dozen major automotive OEMs exhibiting, car tech alone took up a large portion of the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall, an auto show unto itself.


Since the PDI team began attending the CES show, we have repeatedly asked ourselves how what we are seeing will affect our industry of automotive training. It’s hard to keep up with it all, let alone know what will catch on and what is simply the gadget of the passing moment.


Virtual reality definitely caught our eye, and from literally every angle. So after experiencing a number of the most cutting edge demonstrations, we put our creative training hats on. We predict the applications that will succeed in the future of automotive training will have the following qualities:


  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Cost efficient (think under $5 per participant)
  • “Wow factor” that helps engage the learner
  • Information sharing you couldn’t otherwise experience


At CES five years ago, we saw a glimpse of the first generation Apple iPad. Little did we know how impactful this device would be in the automotive training industry.


Yet the hardware is only half of the equation. Okay, the iPad’s cool, but how does a facilitator use it and what benefit will it bring to the participant? At that time, we had challenges, including a limited number of developers who had a handle on how to build solid apps, meager Wi-Fi capability, and the high price point for the hottest, newest gadget.


Despite the odds, PDI dove in head first, launching our first custom program app back in 2011 for the Nissan Sales and Service Way In-market program. It was one of the first automotive training events to utilize a custom, native app.


The app was successful thanks to a detailed collaboration with instructional design, and our mutual goal to use this technology to engage learners in new and innovative ways.


What’s new?


Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) – expect to see lots of this in the coming years.


It’s not just for gaming and movie spinoffs. There will be a big influence on interactive learning and the participant experience. These technologies are already heavily employed in very technical adult education, such as flight simulation and highly technical training. And now, VR and AR are making headway into other parts of our world.


Hyundai produced the first-of-its-kind AR owner’s manual for the launch of the Hyundai Genesis. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. With all of the information to relay and new features and benefits to demonstrate, these technologies still hold enormous potential application for training.


Experience it for yourself! Check out a great example of interactive VR, the Porsche VR app in the Apple App Store for iPhone:


Or in the Google Play Store for Android: