Kia Motors and Hyundai have debuted a new virtual reality design evaluation system at the brands’ global design headquarters.
The new system, introduced to the Namyang Research and Development Center in South Korea, demonstrates a heightened focus on enhancing vehicle development processes through the implementation of VR technology.
Kia and Hyundai displayed how new VR technology will be utilised by both brands in future.
The technology uses several development applications, enabling teams of designers and engineers to carry out vehicle design quality assessments and development verification processes.
The technology is part of a $12.8 million investment in the Namyang Research and Development Center announced by Kia and Hyundai in March 2019.
Through the complete implementation of the virtual development processes throughout research and development and pre-production stages, Kia and Hyundai anticipates a 20 per cent reduction in vehicle development times and a 15 per cent reduction in annual development costs.
Albert Biermann, head of research and development division for Hyundai Motor, says: “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.”
In addition to reducing development costs, these new virtual technologies are expected to increase profitability and trigger a cycle of continuously increasing R&D investment for Kia and Hyundai.
20 simultaneous users
VR headsets allow the brands’ 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 accurately in real time.
The new VR design evaluation system can currently support up to 20 simultaneous users, enabling greater cross-team collaboration than ever before.
As a result, the new cutting-edge facility allows the designers from each brand to more efficiently review a multitude of design concepts earlier in the developmental process and in ways that were previously physically impossible.
The system simulates interior and exterior design elements, lighting, colours and materials, and even virtual environments themselves.
Kia plans to expand the design assessment capabilities of the facility for developmental use on future models.
Additionally, plans to establish remote VR design assessment capabilities will enable real-time virtual collaboration between each brand’s design centres in Europe, America, China and India, along with an enhanced virtual development process through the implementation of augmented reality, among other technology.