BMW and Epic Games celebrated their long-standing relationship last week. The two companies have been working together for four years now, joining forces in 2016 to use the latest technologies available in the car production industry. It was back then when BMW started using the Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games, to create new and innovative development methods and tools that are now part of the research and development efforts.
The Unreal Engine allows BMW to create virtual reality models that are so realistic it allows designers and engineers to shape their cars without having to actually build them. The BMW iX is the first car that has been developed using the game engine. With it, engineers and designers can very quickly create 3D renderings, for example, that take account of light effects and light reflections on different materials, among other things. Furthermore, it allows the functional and user experience to be brought to life and implemented in real time at a very early development stage.
This tool can also be used in the factories, where it is already used. For example, the G20 3 Series assembly line was created with the help of Unreal Engine. The individual workstations for the production of the car were recreated using virtual reality, to test new work and manufacturing processes in a realistic 3D environment. This allowed the company to adjust various processes beforehand, to make sure everything was as streamlined as possible. The same is being done now for the upcoming i4.
Last but not least, the Unreal Engine allows BMW to offer its customers virtual reality tests. BMW and Epic Games created the so-called Emotion Virtual Experience which allows vehicles to be experienced first-hand in virtual reality. With EVE, customers can see a 3D representation of any BMW and MINI model, exactly as they configured them, down to the last detail, thanks to VR glasses. Customers can change out various parts and colors in real time, to make sure they get the perfect combination for them. The EVE is available via 6,400 stations at more than 2400 BMW dealerships and branches worldwide.