On March 1, 2008, Second Life will host the grand opening of the Automobile Dealer Relations Center (ARDC) called AutoLand. While that sounds like the kind of place where you'll have to run for your life from a cyborg Yul Brenner, it will actually be home to a multi-brand showroom in the virtual life sim that was created by customer relationship management software maker iMagic. What's more, you'll be able to chat with up to 50 dealers nationwide about pricing, availability and service issues.
We have to admit that we find the idea of a virtual car showroom kind of funky (disclaimer: this blogger has never been in or on or at Second Life before today). After all, Second Life's graphics aren't cutting edge, so at best you'll only be able to look at chunky representations of the car you're interested in buying. As for chatting with dealers, virtual sales don't affect the brick-and-mortar bottom line much, and if the chatroom becomes a forum to gripe about service issues, we can see things getting testy pretty quickly. If nothing else, it's a neat experiment, and we'll see what happens. And when you get tired of kicking digital tires, you can head on over to Peugeot island and see what the hubbub is about: that company leads all 11 automotive brands in Second Life with more than 9 million accounts.

[Source: AOL Money & Finance]

Share This Photo X