Friday 21st July 2017,
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VR and the Future of Car Design

heDD Team May 4, 2017 HeDD News Comments Off on VR and the Future of Car Design

World leading design and innovation company Seymourpowell will be unveiling the new ways they’re using Virtual Reality (VR) to design cars at this year’s London Motor Show, from 4th – 7th May. They’ve developed unique VR design techniques that respond to today’s challenges within the automotive industry and improve on other VR applications currently available.

All of the software has been coded from scratch in-house. The core functionality came from the need to create sketches, curves and surfaces in VR.  Using Augmented Reality, Seymourpowell have delivered a solution which allows multiple people to view the VR drawings in realtime without the need for additional headsets. The tool is compatible with all major PC-Based Virtual Reality headsets.

Richard Seale, lead automotive designer at Seymourpowell commented:

Our new approach to designing in VR radically streamlines the design process, allowing designers, engineers, and marketing teams to collaborate on the design process in exciting new ways. It lets designers create designs in 3D and at any scale from the very start of the design process. I believe this is the future of design.”
Seymourpowell VR PR 3

VR – key capabilities

  • A networked platform: Allows teams in different parts of a building, or different geographical locations, to ‘dial in’ and all participate in the design process in real-time via tablets and VR headsets, as if in the same room.
  •  Inspires greater collaboration: Breaks down existing barriers between designers, engineers and marketing teams by allowing them all to collaborate, interact and give feedback on the design process remotely from anywhere in the world.
  • Improves communication: Facilitates communication between designers, engineers and modelers by providing a shared workspace to address design challenges as and when they arise, instead of waiting until later in the design process when it might be too late.
  • Streamlines design process: All teams can work from the same data created in the shared VR tool, instead of converting sketches into different formats to be developed.
  • New opportunities for the customer: The technology can also allow customers who want bespoke or custom features or finishes to virtually experience them before they buy.
  • Greater transparency for marketers: Marketing teams can see how the car will look and function earlier on than traditional design methods allow.
  • New flexibility for the designer: Powerful VR sketching functionality allows designers to easily duplicate designs, draw complex spline curves, and work within industry safety regulations and parameters to ensure that every design is viable from an early stage.

VR & The Future of Car Design - screen

Seymourpowell believe that their approach to VR design will help to shorten the time it takes to bring a new car from napkin sketch to showroom floor, allow the design of new cars to be more reactive to changing consumer needs and expectations, and ultimately produce better quality vehicles by facilitating more effective collaboration between teams within automotive companies. Their approach also has huge benefits and implications for other areas within transport design, and beyond, and they are continuing to develop their technology for new applications.

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