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Unity Technologies rolls out simulator for virtual road testing of autonomous vehicles

Unity Technologies rolls out simulator for virtual road testing of autonomous vehicles
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Unity Technologies, a gaming as well as augmented reality and virtual reality (AR, VR) firm, announced the launch of a real-time simulation platform that can create virtual environments for developers to test autonomous vehicles.

The US-based company said that it is also developing a platform for developing a broad range of applications in the fields of real-time 3D (three dimensional) and AR, VR for the automobile industry.

Privately held Unity Technologies said that the company was enabling eight of the 10 largest original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the world by helping them improve the way they design, build, service and sell automobiles and cut down costs in design and sales.

Founded in Copenhagen in 2004, the company is known for its product called Unity, a licensed real-time 2D, 3D, AR, and VR development engine, which has been extensively used by developers in the AR, VR domains, particularly for the gaming industry. Its platform is now being put to use in other industries.

Unity Technologies said that it is strengthening the OEMs in the automotive industry through its flexibility and support for over 25 platforms it had developed. According to the firm, its platforms are helping the OEMs to execute designing, training, marketing, autonomous driving, and human-machine interaction while also saving an average of $3-5 million euros for each model designed using its solutions.

By unlocking interactivity demanded by today’s car-buying audience through real-time technology, Unity Technologies said it is empowering the future of car-buying experiences, helping car dealerships reduce inventory, and increasing attach rates for dealer options.

For instance, the luxury car brand Lexus is using the firm’s real-time technology to give prospective customers the power to configure, experience and buy the Lexus LC500 in VR.

“We are enthralled to be a part of the real-time revolution of the automotive sector by equipping the automakers through our real-time rendering technology," said Anumukonda Ramesh, country manager for India at Unity Technologies. "The ability to design, market, train and accurately conduct autonomous testing in a simulated environment allows for millions of simulations to simultaneously occur, providing automakers with a competitive advantage while helping to keep their business costs down,” he added.  

The firm said its machine learning capabilities and simulation engine are allowing OEMs to drive millions of miles in a virtual environment, running 100,000s of scenarios at a time, all without endangering lives. 

Unity had recently collaborated with brands including Chinese search engine operator Baidu Inc. and Microsoft to support artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning for autonomous systems.

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