Kia Shows Off New Virtual Reality Car Design Technology
Kia has debuted a new virtual reality (VR) design evaluation system at its global design headquarters in South Korea.
The new system, introduced to the Namyang Research and Development Center as part of a $12.8 million investment programme, aims to deliver a 20 per cent reduction in vehicle development times and a 15 per cent reduction in annual development costs.
Where previous quality verification processes began with the manufacturing of an actual test vehicle, the process can now be accomplished virtually, during the pre-production stage.
VR headsets allow designers and engineers to virtually enter developmental simulations, with 36 motion tracking sensors detecting and tracking the locations and movement of all users, enabling each to participate accurately in real time. The system enables 20 individuals to simultaneously participate in design development processes, enabling increased cross-team collaboration than previously.
As a result, designers from both Kia and sister-brand Hyundai are able to review a multitude of design concepts earlier in the developmental process and in ways that were previously deemed to be physically impossible. The system simulates interior and exterior design elements, lighting, colours and materials, and even virtual environments themselves.
VR also enables vehicle development teams to simulate operations of individual components, such as doors, boot lids, engine bonnets, and windshield wipers. Furthermore, the system enables teams to test vehicle ergonomics and aerodynamics more efficiently.
Additionally, plans to establish remote VR design assessment capabilities will enable real-time virtual collaboration between each brand’s design centres in Europe, America, China and India, along with an enhanced virtual development process through the implementation of augmented reality (AR), among other technology.