Automaker Volvo Cars said that it will use Epic Games' Unreal Engine to provide "high-quality graphics inside the cabin" on its next-generation cars.
Volvo indicated it has long-term plans to leverage Unreal Engine in its cars. Its initial focus will be on improving the experience of using the driver information module (DIM)- the display used for information and navigation. After this, Volvo plans to develop a human-machine interface (HMI) for its cars, and Unreal Engine will allow them to offer richer colours and new 3D animations on the in-car displays.
Henrik Green, chief product officer at Volvo Cars, believes that having a rich, immersive, and responsive visualisation inside cars is key to offering the best possible and safe driving experience to customers.
“Running Unreal Engine in our cars enables this and makes it even more enjoyable to spend time inside a Volvo," Green added.
The first car that will leverage the Unreal Engine in its infotainment system will be an all-electric model that will be unveiled later this year. Volvo is planning to sell only pure electric cars by 2030.
Volvo isn't the first carmaker to leverage Unreal Engine. In 2020, General Motors said that it will use the game engine to build a human-machine interface for its Hummer EVs.
Unreal Engine is a software development framework/platform used by game developers and filmmakers to create 3D environments and characters in games and movies without spending too much time on configuration and settings.
Car infotainment is a big focus area for carmakers. With connected cars becoming a norm, carmakers are expected to launch cars with multiple screens and digital interfaces for drivers as well as passengers.
Unreal Engine will allow carmakers to enhance these display experiences by building more immersive and interactive software. They can improve the navigation experience for drivers or build games for passengers.
Heiko Wenczel, director of Automotive and HMI for Unreal Engine, Epic Games said, "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."