Future vehicle concept simulation

Future vehicle system and technology concepts are modelled using 3D gaming technology, enabling rich communication and deeper understanding for stakeholders. Much future vehicle capability will be delivered via complex interaction between multiple technology and platform types, often involving multiple users and artificial intelligence (AI). Principles and logic of the operation are hard to grasp, especially for non-technical personnel. Describing future ideas in 3D virtual reality provides a natural understanding of the function of future technology in context.

By adding user controls, system behaviours and physics modelling allow the viewer to become the user of the future technology, in real-time, within the 3D world. In addition to improved understanding, concept exploration allows the logic and behaviour of complex future technology, user and AI interaction to be tested, early in the platform design cycle. Early identification of risks and opportunities have the potential to create significant value for platform creation projects.

Project aims

The primary aim of the project is improved future vehicle and vehicle technology concept exploration by allowing all stakeholders to interact with 3D models of future technology as early as possible in the vehicle project design cycle. This approach allows the logic and basic function of technology to be examined long before any technology is produced.

An additional aim of the project is to take advantage of existing investment in gaming technology and online media. A large ecosystem of low cost game engines, 3D content, textures and other media is available eliminating the need for much custom content development with subsequent cost savings.

Project findings and impact

A significant finding of the project is that the availability of low cost game engines, support and training as well as 3D assets allows future vehicle and vehicle technology simulation within a realistic context at much lower cost than previously assumed. The open nature of current tools and models as well as a reliance on generic skills (programming and 3D modelling) significantly reduces barriers to effective 3D simulation creation.

The use of 3D simulation in vehicle architecture projects enables the early identification of project risks and opportunities as elaborating concepts within an interactive 3D simulation allows a wider group of stakeholders a greater understanding of the core project concepts.