April 24, 2018

BMW brings mixed reality to automotive design with Unreal Engine

By Keef Sloan

Real-time technology is sparking a big shift in the automotive production industry, as the world’s largest car manufacturers are exploring innovative ways to speed up and enhance the design process. Running on Unreal Engine, BMW and MINI’s mixed reality lab is carving out a bold path for automotive design that pairs custom hardware with virtual reality to bring a whole new level of real-time experience to the production cycle.

In the fast-paced automotive world, staying ahead of the design curve without sacrificing visual fidelity is becoming more and more critical for efficiently crafting the cars of tomorrow. 

Pairing VR, Unreal Engine, and physical hardware in BMW’s mixed reality lab delivers a unique design experience that enhances productivity and iteration.

A new reality for automotive design

One of the big challenges in automotive design is finding the middle ground between crafting what a new car model would look like in a perfect world and what’s actually possible from a manufacturing and production standpoint given the time allotted. 

Using a mixed reality design experience with Unreal Engine, VR, and specialized cutaway elements of physical car hardware, the team is able to experiment and make key decisions earlier in the process, leaving more time for iteration and refinement before locking in its designs.

The ability to “test drive” a car design in a virtual mixed reality experience before it exists in the real world is a game-changer for automotive manufacturers.

High speed meets high fidelity
Using Unreal Engine helps speed up the process through real-time decision making without sacrificing the visual quality that’s imperative for the team’s success.

Wondering what BMW’s mixed reality lab using Unreal Engine looks like in action? Check out the full video above to see for yourself, and don’t forget to try the free Unreal Studio beta today to speed up your design workflows in Unreal Engine.