Closing the Gap Between Gaming & the Automotive Industry

By Sophie Curtis on June 18, 2015

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Applying new and emerging technologies, such as virtual reality engineering, is having an huge impact on problem solving and cutting costs, as well as creating an efficient new development process for the automotive industry.

Jaguar Land Rover have been using innovative technologies and created a virtual reality engineering and design studio, that has already saved the group more than three times its cost in two years of operation by cutting the time usually associated with vehicle development. By using virtual reality technology, they have developed a whole new way of engineering and designing, successfully using game and entertainment technology and integrating it with the engineering workflow. This means data can be handled and manipulated in a completely new way, and computer simulations allow engineers to visualize full-size 3D models of components, or even the entire vehicle, long before physical parts are available.

Brian Waterfield is Virtual Reality & High-End Visualisation Technical Lead at Jaguar Land Rover. Over the past eight years he has developed the company's 'Virtual Reality Centre', which established Jaguar Land Rover at the forefront of virtual reality immersion, leading on to creative solutions that enabled them to design and deliver new innovative vehicles. Brian also developed the current 'Virtual Innovation Centre', where they employ techniques mainly used in the gaming and entertainment industry, such as motion capture, simulation of senses and high quality graphics.

We caught up with Brian, ahead of his presentation at RE.WORK Future Technology Summit, to hear more about his innovative work at Jaguar Land Rover.

What is the biggest obstacle to integrating augmented reality into the automotive world?
There are two major obstacles. One is data: accessing data on demand, there is a need for the creation storage and accessibility to large amounts of data so that the augmented reality (AR) units can pull this data to enable an interaction. Secondly, is the cultural change and traditional beliefs; getting momentum within a well establish environment is a huge task. Adopting new ways and moving away from tried and tested ways is not an easy job.

What will be the key skills or jobs required in the future for your sector?
There is a growing need to close the gap between the gaming / entertainment and the automotive sector; the skills that are creating the entertainment that we all seem to enjoy in our lives is needed to enhance the creativity of our designers and engineers. Vehicles are becoming complex machines with virtual techniques growing more and more important to our customers, who see this these trends in the daily lives.

Which areas of rapidly advancing technologies in AR do you feel could benefit from cross-industry collaboration?
Training and skills development. This helps in two ways - firstly, we get people learning their role faster using AR learning and instruction; and secondly, the more this leads to collaborative environments, the faster technology will develop.

What emerging technology are you most excited about impacting the automotive world in the next 5 years?
I believe that there are a number of technology advances that will enhance the automotive sector, connectivity being the main one in my view, as we all live faster lives, wanting to always be connected, understanding what is going on in our social circles, so connectivity for the customer is key.

The Future Technology Summit is taking place in London on 24-25 September, alongside the Deep Learning Summit. For more information and to register, please visit the event website here.

Industrial Automation Data Mining Hardware Design & UX AI Augmented Reality Smart Transport Future Technology Summit Connected Car Virtual Reality


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