At The National Autistic Society, we have recognised through our Too Much Information campaign that providing the public with virtual reality experiences can help to improve understanding of everyday life for autistic people.

We were therefore really pleased when we came across this inspiring video by leading car retailer, Nissan, featuring autistic artist, Stephen Wiltshire, using virtual reality technology.

Stephen has a photographic memory and with just a single glance is able to remember and reproduce the thousands of tiny details that make up any scene.

Stephen received his autism diagnosis at the age of three, and first learned to speak at the age of nine. From his earliest years, however, Stephen had been drawing and as a child he had been fascinated by cars. Stephen's unique talent has helped him to produce incredible illustrations and his detailed recreations of landscapes in London, New York and Venice have received widespread recognition.

Ahead of the launch of the 2017 Nissan Micra later this year, the innovative video features Stephen producing an image of the car in 3D using virtual reality technology for the very first time. By working with the HTC Vive VR headset and the Google Tilt Brush, a 3D modelling tool, Stephen was able to perfectly recreate the new shape of the Micra.

Our charity is currently hard at work putting more virtual reality techniques into practice. Our TMI virtual reality experience, which helps people to understand what it might feel like for an autistic child to experience Too Much Information in a Shopping Centre will be on exhibition at Croydon’s Centrale Shopping Centre on 22 and 23 of July.

Find out more about Stephen and the Nissan Micra project and read more about the drawing task he faced.

Find out more about our TMI Virtual Reality Experience and read about how it has helped millions of people to better understand autism.