3D Artist

Unity drives up commitment to the automotive industry

News & Features
Carrie Mok

The cross-platform game engine commits dedicated teams, industry bundle resources and two-day summit to automotive

Unity drives up commitment to the automotive industry

Unity has today declared its commitment to automotive with a dedicated team, industry bundle, and two-day Unity AutoTech Summit.

The creator of the world’s most widely used real-time platform counts eight of the world’s top 10 OEMs including Audi (who have used Unity for a VR design review), Volkswagen (for interactive VR training for 10,000 employees), Cadillac (a virtual showroom) and Mercedes-Benz (AMG Powerwall).

“Innovation is a core principle at Audi,” said Jan Plueger, Coordination AR & VR, Audi Center of Competence. “With Unity, we create and deploy immersive, real-time interactivity to accelerate team collaboration and speed our pace of development and innovation.”

Unity will use its newly-formed automotive division, which hails experts from companies like Volkswagen, Renault, GM, Delphi, and Denso, to help drive up the power of real-time 3D for the world’s automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers.

“The real-time revolution in automotive is here. Over the past 15 years, we’ve made great strides leading the game development industry — now, we’re bringing our real-time rendering technology to a new group of creators, equipping automakers with the tools that will allow them to iterate at the speed of thought,” said John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer, Unity Technologies. “We can’t wait to see what auto creators — from design and pre-production all the way through sales and marketing — create with our technology.”

Edward Martin, Sr. Technical Product Manager at Unity, told 3D Artist about some of the reasons behind the pledge,

“Certainly from our perspective, it’s the reflection of customers who have expressed interest into Unity. We are used by 8 of the largest OEMs. We have customers using us in dozens of different areas. First and foremost it’s a reflection of the need customers have expressed. Beyond that, I think what really is driving this is a couple of things.

“The tools used traditionally in automotive are all about getting the design details down to a very high level of refinement. There is primarily a lot of modelling, those are visualisation tools used. But at the end of the day, those tools aren’t used to create interactions, so the entire idea of immersing yourself in 3D space… being able to actually interact with models and trigger behaviours with those models that don’t exist in a CAD system.

“It’s something that’s somewhat new. It brings the design to life and is what customers are going for… You need a tool like Unity to bring those into life so you can interact with them in a way like you would with a real car early in the development process before you make commitments to millions of hours of tooling and tens of thousands of hours of engineering time. It helps customers make better decisions early on in the design process.

“The other thing is being able to experience the design of the vehicle in the customer space as well, whether that is configurators on the web, AR/VR experience at the dealership or an app you can download on your phone to see your car parked outside your work or your entertainment. All of those are ways to extend that kind of immersive and interactive experience to customers as well.”

Unity also partnered with PiXYZ, which was announced earlier in March 2018, to make creating real-time interactive and virtual experiences based on CAD data faster and easier.

“Even if you’ve got a PC application that’s pretty heavy, and certainly if you’re going into a mobile AR application it’s even heavier. There’s a need to bring the data into all the prep that needs to be done on models.

“Theoretically it’s all perfect but in reality, there are surfaces that aren’t stitched and so on. We’ve partnered with PiXYZ to help improve that process, also to help simplify models in a way so that they’re much more easily consumable for use cases. We announced that partnership back in March time frame and we’re working closely with PiXYZ to try to improve that workflow.

Unity and PiXYZ recently launched the enterprise-level Unity Industry Bundle, which is built on a combination of PiXYZ products, training and Unity Pro. According to Tata Elxsi, the combination of Unity and PiXYZ was able to complete some workflow steps 66% faster and produced a model that was 72% smaller than the next leading competitor. The full report names Unity + PiXYZ the most powerful and performant solution available.

The company’s inaugural Unity AutoTech Summit will take place on 19/20 June in Berlin, Germany. The two-day gathering of sessions, tech demos and networking will demonstrate how Unity’s real-time solution is accelerating innovation and transforming workflows in the automotive industry.