Las Vegas - Audi’s new virtual reality system, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, will make many a ‘grown-up’ kid wish they were actually young again and riding in the back seat of an e-tron.

The new technology takes rear seat occupants on an adventure through outer space by combining virtual reality (VR) content with vehicle movements in real time. If the vehicle makes a left turn, for instance, the spaceship in the VR experience does the same thing. 

The experience is based on Marvel Comics’ Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run and at its core is a set of VR glasses that syncs with the Audi’s movements to give kids the experience of cruising through an asteroid field in a ship manned by the Guardians of the Galaxy, accompanied by a character called Rocket, who will appear in The Avengers: Endgame later this year.

Occupants get to experience acceleration and cornering but as far as we know they won’t hit an asteroid in the game if the real car actually crashes.

The technology was developed by a new start-up company called Holoride, which was co-founded by Audi, and which will use an open platform to allow carmakers and content developers to create and offer additional extended reality formats.

“Creative minds will use our platform to come up with fascinating worlds that turn the journey from A to B into a real adventure,” said Audi’s digital head Nils Wollny.

“We can only develop this new entertainment segment by adopting a cooperative, open approach for vehicle, device and content producers.”

There are many other applications for this technology, Holoride claims, including educational trips through historical cities. 

The future expansion of car-to-X infrastructure could take things even further, with traffic events becoming part of the experience. A traffic light, for instance, could become a sudden obstacle in a game.

But when will this virtual system become an actual reality?

Holoride is hoping to bring this new entertainment format to the market within the next three years, using standard VR glasses for rear seat occupants.

IOL Motoring