The new and improved Automotive Field Guide is available now!

March 30, 2022
It’s coming up to a year since we published our Automotive Field Guide (AFG), and a lot has changed during that time. The first edition of the guide shone a light on the different ways in which real-time technology is transforming the automotive industry.

We explored how many of the world’s foremost automotive manufacturers are using real-time workflows for everything from design concepting to optimizing factory configuration—and how Unreal Engine can join up these siloed use cases to create one holistic open platform covering the entire automotive pipeline from end to end.

As the world continues to develop new ways to work—both remotely and in person—everything from design reviews to advertising production has been transformed. That has led to many of the emerging trends we referred to in the original AFG being supercharged. In a recent poll conducted by Forrester, 78% of auto respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they'd like to use real-time technology for concepting, design, and marketing.*

In 2021, auto companies increasingly turned to game engine-powered virtual production to create adverts and produce events for newly released cars.

Similarly, real-time remote working using built-in tools for virtual collaboration proved to be a viable way for many automotive departments to operate effectively.

And last year also saw real-time technology make an impact in key growth areas in the automotive industry, as illustrated by two major automakers shipping HMI experiences built with Unreal Engine: General Motors with the Hummer EV, and Rivian in their R1T electric pickup truck.

Then, towards the end of last year, the metaverse hit the headlines. A concept that Epic has been advocating in recent years, this next iteration of the internet could have exciting implications for the way auto brands interact with consumers and how vehicles are bought and experienced.

With all this tumultuous change, we thought it would be a good time to refresh our Automotive Field Guide. Download the updated version below—and look out for the lightbulb icon in the margins to quickly find new or updated information.
 

Download the updated Automotive Field Guide

Explore the latest trends, use cases, and technologies driving real-time innovation in the automotive industry today.

New automotive-focused features

As well as tracking the latest real-time trends and use cases, this version of the Automotive Field Guide also highlights some of the technology advances that took place in 2021. Last year saw a number of key updates to Unreal Engine that significantly enhance visualization for automotive use cases.

The 4.27 release brought improvements to the Path Tracer, a DXR-accelerated, physically accurate progressive rendering mode in Unreal Engine that can be enabled without requiring any additional setup.
Previously suitable for ground-truth comparisons with real-time ray tracing, a sweeping range of enhancements to the Path Tracer now make it viable for creating final-pixel imagery comparable to offline renderings, with features such as physically correct and compromise-free global illumination, physically correct refractions, feature-complete materials within reflections and refractions, and super-sampled anti-aliasing.

With the new Datasmith Runtime feature, you can now load .udatasmith files and CAD files directly into your Unreal-Engine powered application as it runs. That makes it possible to build things like design review applications that can import and load CAD and BIM files on the fly.

And the Epic ecosystem expanded in 2021 to include new tools such as MetaHuman Creator, Sketchfab, and RealityCapture, providing even more creative options for those using Unreal Engine to create end-to-end photorealistic experiences.

An exciting road ahead

We believe 2022 is going to be something of a watershed moment for real-time technology in the automotive industry. With the inexorable rise in market share of autonomous and electric vehicles, we’ll see an increase in vehicles hitting the road with cutting-edge HMI systems powered by Unreal Engine.

As the metaverse coalesces into something tangible, forward-thinking automotive companies will build interactive virtual experiences using game engine technology to inspire and delight customers.

And many OEMs that were compelled to experiment with remote collaboration workflows due to the pandemic will take those forward, using collaborative virtual spaces as a preference or an alternative to on-premise meetings when it’s not possible for all stakeholders to be physically present.

For automakers looking to future-proof their technology stack and find faster, more efficient processes, whether across design, engineering, or sales, now is the perfect moment to explore the opportunities presented by real-time technology. Download our updated Automotive Field Guide and get started today. 

*A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Epic Games. Data correct as of January 2022.

    Automotive Field Guide

    Want to start exploring how your business could capitalize on real-time technology across the automotive pipeline? Check out the latest version of the Automotive Field Guide.
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