Unreal Engine, the world’s most powerful and most widely used real-time 3D programe, is now in its fifth iteration and it promises to democratize high end, photorealistic graphics not just in the gaming and film industry, but other related fields as well. We are not at all surprised to learn that carmakers are interested in using this tech for their in-car graphics and the first one to announce it is Volvo.
The Swedish brand, owned by China’s Geely, recently announced that it will give its future vehicle photorealistic graphics in order to make the viewing experience easier and less distracting, through a partnership with Epic Games, the creators of Unreal Engine. We will first see Unreal-based graphics in future Volvos’ digital driver’s display, and later in the main infotainment screen.
It was prioritized this way because this is the display the driver will focus on and try to read information from most often. With really clear and sharp graphics that attempt to mimic the experience of looking at a physical panel and not a screen, the driver will spend less time looking at the screen, trying to process its information.
According to Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars,
To offer our customers the best possible user experience and contribute to a safe and personal drive, we need rich, immersive and responsive visualisation inside our cars. Running Unreal Engine in our cars enables this and makes it even more enjoyable to spend time inside a Volvo.
This is one of Epic Games’ most important automotive collaboration, fairly new territory for the game and gaming engine developer, but the company founded in 1998 is confident it will deliver and really make Volvo graphics something special. According to Heiko Wenczel, Epic Games’ Director of Automotive and HMI for Unreal Engine,
When you bring interactive, high-resolution graphics running in real-time into the car, you open the door to a vast range of new ways to inform and entertain everyone inside. Volvo Cars’ deeply talented design and product development teams have grasped this opportunity to do something fresh that will keep evolving with exciting new features that take advantage of the capabilities of Unreal Engine.
Volvo did not say which of its products would be the first to feature these Unreal graphics, but it does want to sell only electric vehicles come 2030, being one of the first automakers to announce this.