- Question: What version of the Aptera is used in the 3D model?
Answer: Thanks to a partnership with Aptera Motors Corp, the main vehicle 3D model used on this site is a low poly version of the visual elements from the official engineering model for the Production Intent Aptera (Copyright 2023, Aptera Motors Corp, used with permission). The 3D model used in the X-Ray view, Wind Tunnel view, and Hot Wheels view was created by me and is not 100% accurate to the Production Intent Aptera but is fairly close.
- Question: What is the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?
Answer: Augmented Reality, or AR, is the method of displaying digital content overlayed onto the real world environment. This is typically done using your mobile or headset device's camera, although there are headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens that pass the real world view through their lenses to create the AR scene. Virtual Reality, or VR, is different in that VR creates an entirely digital environment. Note that AR devices that use the camera for their passthrough, are also sometimes referred to as Mixed Reality. All of these terms are collectively referred to as XR.
- Question: What devices are supported for Augmented Reality?
Answer: Only mobile devices support the AR functionality. Requirements include iOS version 11 or later, or Android version 7.0 or newer along with Google Play Services installed. Desktop and laptop computers are not supported for AR although you may be able to view the model in 3D. For a mobile device specific list, follow this link.
- Question: What mobile web browsers are supported for Augmented Reality?
Supported - Chrome Android, Opera Android, Safari on iOS, Samsung Internet.
Not Supported - Edge Mobile, Firefox for Android, Firefox for iOS.
- Question: What devices are supported for Virtual Reality?
Answer: The Oculus/Meta Quest devices are fully supported. This includes Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro headsets.
- Question: How do I navigate in the Virtual Reality space?
Answer: Using a Quest VR headset you have 6 degrees of freedom for movement, which includes walking around to view the Aptera from any angle. If the physical space you are in is not large enough to walk to a specific location, you can use the right hand Quest controller thumbstick to move the camera around the virtual space. The only other controller buttons that are active are the trigger buttons which change the pose of the virtual hands.
- Question: Is the AR version of the Aptera full size?
Answer: Yes, it is rendered full scale in your AR viewing area. Therefore it's best to use the AR Viewer outside or in a place that can accomodate a full size vehicle. You can view the full scale Aptera in a smaller space but the experience will not be as immersive. You can also scale the Aptera to smaller sizes on-screen by using two fingers and pinching, if for instance you want to place it on a desktop.
- Question: Is the VR version of the Aptera full size?
Answer: Yes, it is rendered full scale in your VR stereoscopic display. You can view the VR version of the Aptera in any size physical space, even sitting, as the controllers allow you to move the camera around the virtual space.
- Question: My hardware and browser are supported for AR so why is my device having issues?
Answer: AR technology for mobile devices has come a long way over the last few years but is still not perfect, particularly for Android where hardware segmentation is a problem. You will see some rendering quality, camera capability, and model placement differences between iOS and Android. In general iOS devices produce a smoother AR experience but it really depends on your hardware/software setup. If you experience difficulties, try using a different device or browser if possible.
- Question: What am I seeing in the Virtual Wind Tunnel AR experience?
Answer: This is a 3D visualization of a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) airstream analysis. In essence you can see and walk around the airflow as it slips around the Aptera, similar to what you would see if you were standing in a real-world wind tunnel. In this case though, instead of white smoke, the airstreams are color coded to represent pressure differentials at different locations where blue is low pressure and red is high pressure.
The CFD simulation produced more data than what is represented via the AR viewer, so here is a video that shows a broader range of airstream information - CFD Airstream Simulation for the Aptera
- Question: Why did I receive an error on my iOS device when viewing the Virtual Wind Tunnel AR that says "Universal Scene Description Package Zero KB"?
Answer: The 3D model used in the wind tunnel AR experience is very large and reaches the limit of what some older or lower powered devices are capable of, particularly for iOS devices. The newest phones and tablets seem to handle the larger file with ease. If you are getting this error message you can try this alternate version of the wind tunnel AR experience which uses a smaller file since it has only one layer of airstream information - Alternate Virtual Wind Tunnel AR Model for iOS
- Question: Why does the Aptera in the Virtual Wind Tunnel AR experience look small on my Android device?
Answer: Because the physical lenth of the airstreams in this 3D model is approximately 36 feet, Android initially displays the model at around 40% scale. This problem seems to be unique to Android when using a very large AR model. You can easily scale up the Aptera to 100% with a two finger pinch once it is displayed in the AR viewport.
- Question: Does the Virtual Wind Tunnel analysis prove the claimed 0.13 drag coefficient of the Aptera?
Answer: The 3D model used in the CFD analysis is the same one used throughout the Experience Aptera app so it is not an official Aptera model, and although it was analyzed using the same CFD software that is available to professional engineers, the simulation used very basic and limited parameters. Because of these reasons I am not claiming to validate Aptera Motors stated 0.13 drag coefficient. The goal of this exercise was to create an interesting visual representation as opposed to a scientifically accurate one. That said, from a visualization perspective the airstream flow should be pretty close to what you would expect to see in a real wind tunnel with the Aptera.
If you want to learn more on this topic, here are a few interesting videos that talk to automotive aerodynamics and CFD analysis.
CFD Results - How to Interpret an Aerodynamic Analysis
Ford F150 Aerodynamics - How to add more than 10% range!
Rivian R1T Aerodynamics - Is the claimed drag coefficient of 0.30 correct?
- Question: Are there 3D printable models available of the Aptera?
Answer: Yes, there are 3D printable models based off the Aptera design in this app available on Thingiverse. Here are the links.
Aptera (Official design from Aptera Motors)
Aptera Delta Multi-Part