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Verification of perception difference between actual space and VR space in car design

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To evaluate a car’s design before its introduction to the market, automobile companies traditionally conduct customer surveys using clay models or real products. Recently, however, virtual reality (VR) has attracted significant attention as an efficient alternative to this costly and time-consuming practice. However, from the viewpoint of a customer’s intention to purchase, based on the design of the car, the differences between evaluations made using VR and by viewing an actual vehicle need to be clarified. In this study, the perception difference between actual space, VR space, and paper was verified with a randomized controlled trial involving four groups: (1) an actual car group, (2) a photographed VR group, (3) a computer-generated VR (CG VR) group, and (4) a paper group. By preparing the least expensive (paper) group, the usefulness of VR could be further clarified. The results showed that, whereas there is no perception difference for purchase intention and style attributes, there is a perception difference in terms of the factors underlying the purchase intention. The best way to convey the comfort of the interior space was CG VR, given that the size can be defined by data. Therefore, this was slightly advantageous over photograph-based VR, for which the interior size could not be defined. In addition, it became clear that it was very difficult to convey the amount of interior space using the paper-based method. These findings can help overcome the constraints of current design surveys and contribute to customer-oriented manufacturing.

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Correspondence to Takumi Kato.

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Kato, T. Verification of perception difference between actual space and VR space in car design. Int J Interact Des Manuf 13, 1233–1244 (2019).

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