Naturally, it was only later that it became universally outrageous – back in 2019 when Mark Zuckerberg’s social network company Facebook decided to get involved with the stuff and later in 2021 when it changed its name to Meta Platforms to signal a major refocus on the metaverse. Alas, they lost billions of dollars ever since, and are now shifting – seemingly just like everyone else in the tech world – towards Artificial Intelligence. One last thing to note is that metaverses usually involve some form of digital currency – most often from the controversial area of cryptocurrency.
Plus, to better make the metaverse go round, there are also tradable assets – sometimes based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that make it easy to track ownership via the safety of blockchain technology. And, keeping that final NFT part in mind, this is how we arrive at the metaverse x automotive industry connection to meet with Italy’s Raven Cars, aka the “first luxury carmaker in the metaverse.” So, it is not like we are dealing with the real world but also, it is different from the numerous digital creations of virtual car artists that we have gathered over the years from around the world.
Instead, Raven Cars dwell somewhere in between and already they have a couple of models to showcase. The latest, aka the Raven GTR roadster sibling to the coupe version, was just launched in the metaverse and on social media. Yes, the car is just CGI – but with every purchase of an NFT, there is also a 3D model included in the transaction. So, what does that have to do with the real world, again? Well, aside from the fact that we would love to see this Raven GTR take on the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2, the Aston Martin Speedster, McLaren Elva, and BAC Mono or Ariel Atom, there is also a highly unlikely collaboration with one of the most renowned OEM providers of car seats, seat belts, and lots of other motorsport products.
Believe it or not, Raven Cars managed to convince Sabelt that they should team up to create this virtual super sports car. That was unexpected, to say the least, considering that the Italian company founded in 1972 is also involved with profoundly serious endeavors, such as creating stuff for the military, aviation, and aerospace industries! Alas, maybe the promise of being the first entry of an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) into the metaverse proved more powerful than reason.
The result of their collaboration will also involve a limited edition NFT, and they also concocted a fresh word to describe the novelty of their enterprise: it’s a “phygital” (physical plus digital) project. The main reason was to virtually certify the Sabelt project of the OEM “Best Weight” seat. According to the shared specifications, this concept seat would achieve a weight of fewer than 10 kgs (around 22 pounds), though it would still comply with “the safety standards required by the regulations and the main OEM manufacturers.” And, of course, it’s all mostly done in tubular carbon fiber – with some additional padding for the backrest and a structural carbon fiber shell for the rest of the seat!