Vr-on recently participated at the EDM CAE Forum by Daimler AG. As expected, the two day event, from 18th-19th July, proved to be a great experience for transferring knowledge about diverse topics and latest technologies. We worked with ACONEXT to showcase our virtual showroom for the automotive manufacturers. In case you are not aware of the potential of VR in the automotive sector, keep reading :)
The foremost application of VR in the automotive sector is planning the factory premises of an automotive maker. Layout planning, extensions and renovations can all be effectively envisioned using VR to ensure industrial safety. Planning desks and virtual walks can lead to the construction of an ideal production unit. As a result, automation technology, assembly workstations and conveyor belts can be optimized so that monitoring of the production processes is easier and more effective and effective vehicles are manufactured productively.
Visual Prototyping and Design of Vehicles
The next step is designing the vehicle itself. This process involves continuous prototyping, testing, iterations and reviews during the conception phase. Physical mock-ups require plenty of resources; from time to capital, a huge amount of financial reserves is compromised, raising the overall project cost as well as reducing company profits. Integrating VR with Computer-aided Design means that designers can create multiple, complex representations following multiple virtual 3D experiments. They can also take real-time feedback from their counterparts in overseas divisions to produce the perfect, highest quality, error-free design, keeping in mind all acoustics and ergonomics requirements. Thus, VR facilitates information exchange among different departments and stakeholders through a collaborative multi-user platform, ensuring that the actual product succeeds based on cross-site contributions received for the digital mock-up. The following are some use cases by automakers:
- Ford uses a virtual laboratory, “Ford’s Immersive Vehicle Environment,” or FIVE, where its engineers can collaborate from different locations to design the perfect car in real-time. The company experienced huge success with this technology, in the form of reduced employee injuries and ergonomic issues.
- Volkswagen uses VR and the HTC Vive to allow better communication of ideas among employees during the product design phase.
- BMW also makes use of this technology and its 3D digitalized factory data to design its production workstations.
Immersive training in the automotive sector is another crucial aspect that can benefit greatly from virtual reality. VR allows employees to experience a realistic practical setup to apply the skills learned through initial theoretical training. This exceeds the benefits of using mere observation as a training technique as workers can make and learn from mistakes without causing physical or financial loss to vehicles. This confidence makes the training process more productive and eventually leads to lesser errors in actual models. If need be, longer training sessions can be conducted without causing delay problems in actual production as the real assembly workstations are not occupied. Moreover, assembly workers can be trained for safety in stressful, hazardous situations without having to put them in real threat. Daimler carries out fire safety training using virtual reality.
According to a recent study conducted by just-auto in the five biggest European economies:
´´over 82 per cent of respondents would like to configure their vehicle using immersive technologies, with over 88 per cent stating they would be likely to purchase after doing so. Almost 65 per cent stated the presence of a VR installation would prompt them to visit the dealership.´´
Therefore, VR car showroom is an exciting and trending application of VR in the automotive industry. Dealers do not have to hold too many models at their physical premises and can, at the same time, showcase numerous models to consumers virtually. Moreover, the use of configurators means that clients can customize the models according to their preferences and enjoy a realistic view of their future car. Immersive and interactive VR lets consumers open the car door and experience the interior and comfort for themselves too. Some examples of companies using VR in this respect include:
- BMW delivers a connected series of virtual experiences during its BMW M Drive Tour.
- Audi is already making use of 360 VR, with audiovisual simulation, to create a realistic customization and testing environment for its customers.
VR can be used to train young drivers about road safety. Toyota developed TeenDrive 365, an audiovisual VR simulator to teach students about the consequences of ignoring safety rules with exceedingly realistic accuracy.
Furthermore, with the rising popularity of autonomous cars, safety needs to be assured before expanding their reach to the wider market. VR can be used to provide various training scenarios so that these cars can learn how to drive in dangerous situations. This can be accomplished without incurring costs for fuel and maintenance, and without putting pedestrians or properties at risk. Thus, autonomous cars can learn how to drive safely in less time and at reduced costs. Renault used VR to test drive its autonomous vehicle.
Hence, as exhibited at the Daimler EDM CAE Forum, virtual reality is becoming a key factor for securing competitive advantage against contenders in this competitive industry. If your business is not one of the many already reaping rewards from this amazing technology, what are you waiting for? ;)