• Skoda has chosen Israel's Matter to develop a digital solution
Israeli high-tech company Matters won Skodas competition with its virtual showroom project

Israeli high-tech company Matters won Skoda's competition with its virtual showroom project

Automakers are facing the realization that, while lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift in many countries, customers are still reluctant to risk their health by going to a dealership and potentially exposing themselves to infection. To mitigate the problem, Skoda launched a competition to uncover the best digital solution to selling cars in a post-COVID world.

Now, the winner of the competition has been announced as Israel's Matter. The tech startup has developed a 3D virtual showroom that makes it easy for customers to experience and choose their ideal car from the comfort of their own home. Matter has adapted the technology to automotive from its existing specialism in creating digital property tours across a range of industries.

Skoda's representatives from its DigiLab development division were particularly impressed with how realistic Matter's solution was.

Skoda's representatives from its DigiLab development division were particularly impressed with how realistic Matter's solution was. Existing 3D virtual showrooms can suffer from a video-game-like quality that makes it hard to visualise the car in the real world, often because they are built using similar technology as that in the gaming industry. Skoda also noted that the solution was interactive, allowing the user to get more 'hands-on' with the virtual vehicle, and also flexible meaning it would be relatively straightforward to introduce the technology across Skoda's retail network.

During the competition, Israel was one of the countries given particular focus by Skoda due to the sheer density of local tech startups and IT talent. This tallies with Israel's growing role in the automotive industry because its high-tech expertise is becoming more important to developing modern vehicles.

Israeli companies such as Mobileye that develop sensor suites for autonomous vehicles, Argus Cyber Security working on safeguarding vehicles' digital networks, or StoreDot developing fast-charging batteries for EVs, have demonstrated that they are at the forefront of vehicle technology R&D. Israel, in particular, has become a hotspot for these technologies because they have trickled down from the country's well-funded military.