VR simulator: a new main trend in automotive
Using of Virtual Reality (VR) is growing day by day. According to statista.com, AR/VR market will grow by 8.3 billion US dollars and will be amounted to a forecast of 18.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to expand in the upcoming years. Many companies from various industries already use VR technologies in their day-to-day operations and already feel advantages resulted in their profits. Automotive industry also follows this trend. Many people involved in the automotive industry already feel the benefits of using VR technologies. Those benefits include but not limited to:
- Customer growth / sales growth;
- Increased customer service and satisfaction;
- Customization of manufacturing and sales;
- Better training for the employees;
- Manufacturing errors reduction;
- Performance improvement, etc.
Relevance of VR technologies in the automotive
Among all the VR technologies which may be used in automotive, one of them is very widely used both by manufacturers and by dealers / service centers – this technology is called a Virtual Reality Simulator.
Overall, VR simulator is equipment, which is mostly used for human immersion in hi-tech with the entertainment goal. Many industries may use different types of VR simulators for different purposes, for example:
- For learning:
– on the factories – where the workers can use VR stimulators to get the necessary training/experience and learn;
– in the driving school – to learn how to drive a car, etc.
- For entertainment purposes:
– on automobile shows – to show the potential clients and investors new car models and let them drive it;
– to watch VR movies (usually to make it more realistic additional equipment is needed);
– to play VR games.
- For networking, and so on.
Virtual Reality development process
But let’s get back to automotive: in this article we would like to share our knowledge how the VR stimulators could be used in automotive industry and as an example to use the two projects which we’ve completed some time ago.
Our customers are two automobile manufacturers Skoda (Volkswagen group) and Ford, which were planning to enrich the company services with modern technologies. For one of them we’ve built a VR training simulator, which allowed a user to drive a car; and for the second one, we’ve had two cases to deal with exterior and interior 3D design with additional configuration to improve the product before the final production and sales.
The team, which is working on such simulators usually consists of:
- Business analyst
- 3d animators
- 3d modelers
- Content architect
- Senior developers (C++, C#, Unreal)
- QA engineers
- Project manager.
The applied platforms are
- Sony Playstation VR
- Oculus Rift
- Google Cardboard
- HTC Vive
- Samsung Gear VR
ServReality VR development process has some stages, which are the following:
- Idea development, the app structure creation
- App modeling
- App and content creation
- Testing, QA
All the details of the projects are observed in the cooperation with developers by the project manager and then all the experts get their tasks. The clients can only check the final results using the simulator and enjoying their experience.
The deadlines of the projects are on average 4-6 months from the conception phase and its regular modifications. All details are discussed in advance and improved in the process. Our management is always ready to carry out the implementations of corrections in the projects immediately.
Features of the Automotive Simulator
The principal goal of the VR simulator for the automobile company/dealer is to demonstrate the car performance and its possibilities before the client is going to purchase it or make a pre-order. The customers may select any detail of the interior, color, and surface. VR immersion allows the customers to check the car concept and drive it before the decision.
ServReality aim is to create an appropriate Virtual Reality simulator. Our precise specialization is:
- to demonstrate how the automobile looks like in VR with different options: light, noise, buttons, control panel.
- to provide a virtual driving experience for users.
VR simulator makes customers immerse themselves in the car and feel their skills and possibilities by applying the precise prototype. On top of everything else, driving experience with the given driving simulators requires additional hardware. It includes VR Headsets and glasses that are compatible with Oculus VR, Windows Mixed Reality, SteamVR.
Automotive simulator may fully demonstrate the users driving experience on the virtual parking lot and the complete survey of the vehicle. Driving experience may work in two modes. The first mode is in VR glasses connected to an inertial simulator, which allows the clients to simulate turns in three axes. The seat is formed by the parameters of the configuration of the real driver’s seat and applying the interior details of the original car. And in the mode without a simulator, just with any VR glasses.
The principal problem of the VR simulator development is the constant adjustments lead to the budget overspending and delays. automotive prototype suggests the visualization of the vehicle VR model and setting up a particular design check.
Virtual car prototype demonstrates for the team the simulated automobile and its features: size, style, structure, and volume. Engineers have the opportunity to detect the peculiarities of the vehicle and their defects. VR prototype can correct the mistakes in real-time to provide the best service.
VR simulation may replace some vehicle examples and clients can immerse themselves in automobiles and interact with it and test safely before the purchase. The demonstration of the car allows the clients to experience different situations and scenes while applying it and without any conductor.
Skoda automotive simulator allows users to configure the car and its elements. Then the user can test various functions of the car, such as park assist and area view, in a virtual environment in scripts specially created to demonstrate the capabilities of these systems.
Speaking about the Ford project, it is a VR configurator with a headset, but the function of driving experience is absent.
Summing up the all above said about projects, ServReality proves that VR technology brings innovation and interactivity in the automobile industry. Interested or have questions about VR development for your business?
Our company is ready to help anyone with their projects and problems 24/7 with our support team.