Hyundai-Kia Demo VR Car Production Capability

Brand partners Hyundai and Kia have demonstrated the first virtual reality (VR) design evaluation system that could transform the way future cars are built.

The new system, introduced to the Namyang Research and Development Center in South Korea, uses several development applications to help teams of designers and engineers carry out vehicle design quality assessments and development verification processes.

It’s part of a KRW 15Bn (US $12.8M) investment in the center announced by the automakers in March. It is hoped the system used throughout vehicle research and development and pre-production stages will see a 20% reduction in vehicle development times and a 15% reduction in annual development costs.

VR headsets allow vehicle designers and engineers to virtually enter developmental simulations, with 36 motion tracking sensors detecting and tracking the locations and movement of all users, enabling each to participate in real time. Currently it can support up to 20 simultaneous users for greater cross-team collaboration.

The system simulates interior and exterior design elements, lighting, colors and materials and even virtual environments themselves. Additionally, plans to establish remote VR design assessment capabilities will enable real-time virtual collaboration between each brand’s design centers in Europe, America, China and India, along with an enhanced virtual development process through the implementation of augmented reality (AR), among other technologies.

Albert Biermann, head of research and redevelopment division for Hyundai Motor Group, said: “The virtual development process is a necessary step for responding quickly and reacting with agility to the needs of customers and paradigm shifts within the automotive industry. Through reinforced virtual processes, we will enhance quality and profitability, ultimately increasing investment in R&D to secure competitiveness in future mobility.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_



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