• ZeroLight's next generation live scene car configurator claimed as 'game changer'
  • New configurator facilitates exact car model specification
  • Potential cost savings for OEMs alongside promise of higher margins
  • Audi is first OEM customer and is rolling out ZeroLight solution across dealerships globally
Darren Jobling: "Wait till you see it"

Darren Jobling: "Wait till you see it"

ZeroLight, a UK-based technology company, has told just-auto that it has developed a game changing car configurator technology that will revolutionise the car buying experience at the point where new car buyers are considering and specifying cars that they will potentially purchase. Audi is the first customer for the new technology that it is now being rolled out across its dealers globally.

"What we have is the world's best car configuration solution," said ZeroLight CEO Darren Jobling. "It creates a live, interactive scene. Typically, when you go to a dealer showroom, the car that you see on the floor is not the car that you will actually buy. With our configurator you can spec up the exact car that you are interested in, all accessories, options and add-ons. It's all the options that you cannot get on a standard web configurator. It is shown in beautiful detail and we believe that our product is a real game changer."

ZeroLight has its origins in the gaming industry and its technology produces what the company describes as real-time 3D visualisation, which creates a live scene of the product, as opposed to pre-made still images. "Old configurators give you pictures of the car, but what we're offering is to give you the actual camera," says Jobling. "This enables advanced interactive features such as viewing the car from any angle at any time, real-time configuration and advanced interaction such as opening doors, component explosions and seeing the car driving."

ZeroLight describes its configurator solution as 'omni-channel', meaning that it can be accessed on different digital platforms. "It can be consumed wherever you are, whenever you want it," Jobling says. "It can be in a dealership on a screen, on a website, a touch-table, tablets, cell-phones, or even virtual reality systems. The configuration solution is exactly the same, wherever you are."

Jobling claims that his company's technology has a number of highly significant implications for the customer experience and also for dealer and OEM profitability.

One potential saving is with the OEM's digital processes. "The car manufacturers tend to have a rather disjointed digital pipeline. One group of people makes the website, another group makes the app for cell phones, another are working on an iPad app, somebody else is doing something for the showrooms. Each of those groups is recreating content and software that has to be approved internally. All that comes with cost. With our solution you just use one asset that you already have across all the different formats."

ZeroLight also believes that the ability to configure the car to the exact specification that will be ordered, leads to many customers opting for higher specifications, something that will boost dealer and OEM margins.

As customers can explore and specify their exact car on screen it promotes the sale of higher specification cars. Once you have fixed upgrades like larger alloys to the digital car and fallen in love with them, it is really hard to take them off," Jobling maintains.

ZeroLight's technology, the company claims, is well suited to online purchasing of cars, something that some analysts believe could eventually account for as much as 20% of new car sales by 2025. However, the immediate business focus is on the dealership experience. "Our technology enables the dealer to hang on to the customer and really engage with them, from the moment they begin to configure cars on the web," Jobling maintains. "The key is to really engage them in with the initial visualisation experience, which will be followed up with a visit to the dealership to progress the process further. The technology allows dealers to do things like create temporary pop-ups or open up new digital-format stores in shopping centres and high streets."

Audi has signed up as the first customer and is now rolling out ZeroLight's technology to its dealers around the world. "We are delighted to be working with Audi - a brand very much seen as a digital thought leader in the automotive world," Jobling said. "We have been working with Audi for over twelve months and they really understand our technology. We have completed the development work and our solution is on rollout by Audi across its global dealer network."