Real-time 3D is changing everything, in much deeper ways than most people realize. Forged in gaming, this technology continues to transform the way games are created, operated and monetized. Its impact now also extends to industries of all kinds, from film to automotive.
In one of her recent Internet Trends Report presentations, the venture capitalist Mary Meeker observed that “Gaming tools are foundational to the internet services that we use today.” In her talk, she cited numerous examples demonstrating how many aspects of our digital society can be traced back to innovations in the gaming industry.
Just as gaming tools have become foundational to everyday internet services, we believe real-time 3D will become foundational to various global industries. Expanding the reach and impact of real-time 3D is rooted in our core belief that the world is a better place with more creators in it. Forged in gaming, this technology is now transforming multiple sectors, including media and entertainment; architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC); and automotive, transportation, and manufacturing.
The automotive industry is at the forefront of reshaping the world with the power of real-time 3D. Beyond photorealistic renderings or anecdotal AR and VR use cases, this industry has embraced real-time 3D to redefine the entire automotive product lifecycle and customer experience.
Our latest whitepaper, “Top 5 ways real-time 3D is revolutionizing the automotive product lifecycle,” covers how Audi, Cadillac, Lexus, Volkswagen, and others are leveraging real-time 3D to reduce costs, accelerate development and deliver superior customer experiences.
The impact of real-time 3D across the automotive lifecycle
Here are the five key areas where Unity’s automotive customers are implementing real-time 3D in their operations and reaping the benefits.
1. Design visualization
Real-time 3D is creating a paradigm shift in the way vehicles are designed, developed, and tested, accelerating time to market and drastically cutting down on the inefficiencies and costs associated with traditional methods. By replacing physical models and prototypes with virtual renderings, red flags can be identified much sooner, while eliminating the need to test multiple, costly iterations. One major auto OEM estimated that real-time 3D could save $5 million developing a new vehicle.
Real-time 3D in action: Audi engineers work together in a virtual environment made with Unity to drive faster decision-making.
2. Simulation for autonomous vehicles
The autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution is imminent. Real-time 3D can train machine learning algorithms of AVs for unexpected scenarios that would be extremely difficult to simulate in the real world. These include trees falling on the street, car accidents, extreme weather conditions, pedestrians or animals running across the street, and more. These simulations not only provide an entirely safe, risk-free testing ground but can be done for a fraction of the cost.
Real-time 3D in action: Check out how Volvo, in collaboration with Varjo and Unity, exposes drivers to active safety scenarios in mixed reality.
3. Human-machine interface (HMI)
Real-time 3D is redefining the in-car experience for the vehicles of the future. As we accelerate into the era of AVs, drivers will become passengers, and vehicles will become hubs of media and entertainment. The HMI experience will be at the forefront, with significant implications for design, production, sales and marketing, service, and owner retention.
Real-time 3D in action: At a recent CES, Byton debuted the K-Byte Concept car featuring a 49-inch (125 cm) curved shared-experience display – a head-up display (HUD)/HMI that was built in Unity.
4. Training and guidance
From the manufacturing floor to the sales floor, having knowledgeable, well-trained workers are essential to the success of every automotive manufacturer. Traditional manual-based or instructor-led training is not only extremely time-consuming, but is often expensive when travel costs, language translation, and machinery downtime is factored in. Real-time 3D addresses many of these problems across multiple scenarios, providing interactive, immersive experiences that shrink the learning curve, increase retention, and maximize productivity.
Real-time 3D in action: Learn how VW drives real-time collaboration and training across its 120 global production sites.
5. Sales and marketing
Attracting prospective buyers today requires content that is more engaging than a gallery of photos, a list of features and benefits, and a comparison tool for trim levels and pricing. Manufacturers must provide high-fidelity, interactive experiences on every device, as well as at the dealership. Product configurators provide one such experience, delivering valuable insights into what buyers want and empowering manufacturers to adjust production accordingly.
Real-time 3D in action: See how Cadillac created an inspiring sales experience with a virtual showroom in VR.
Read the whitepaper
Take a deeper dive into each of these use cases in our whitepaper. Visit the Unity for automotive page to learn why the top 10 auto manufacturers trust Unity’s real-time 3D platform.