Virtual test drives are getting more and more sophisticated. The latest, from Nissan, is called The Detour and takes users from their chosen start point to their chosen destination in a fantasy drive in the Nissan Rogue. The experience, developed by Critical Mass, utilizes Google Street View, Google Maps and Google Satellite API, with VFX and a (downloadable) soundtrack from rapper M.I.A thrown in. Users enter in their desired start point and destination, and are served up a film-like experience taking them from door to door. For tablet and smartphone users, one swipe of the finger launches the Rogue into mid-air part-way through the drive. Viewers can also experience "featured" test drives in cities like New York and San Francisco.
While this is not the first test drive site to use Google (for example Hyundai in 2012 let people park a virtual car in their own driveway) the added music and VFX (by Digital Domain) makes it a fun experience that personalizes the user's browsing -- and might even lead them to book a real test drive.
Critical Mass worked with digital production company Unit 9 , as well as with Google and Digital Domain.