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Automakers adopt XR technology for efficient design

"XR Automakers"
“XR Automakers”

Leading automobile manufacturers, including Ford, Volvo, and Rivian, have begun incorporating Extended Reality (XR) technology into their workflows. From May 6, 2024, this new approach will supplement traditional design techniques, with these brands aiming to leverage the cost and time benefits that digital prototyping with XR technology can offer.

Ford’s design division in Australia, notably behind models like the Ranger and Everest, has adopted Varjo’s XR-3 headset. This device offers high-resolution views and allows seamless digital and physical integration. The technology ultimately makes design modifications faster, more efficient, and interactive, fostering improved teamwork and efficiency before transitioning to physical prototype creation.

American electric vehicle company Rivian reported up to a million dollars in savings per vehicle program, attributed to the decreased necessity for physical mock-ups and materials when using Varjo’s XR technology. Volvo also recognizes the potential for cost-cutting by troubleshooting problems early in the design phase.

Adopting XR technology in automotive design

In addition to using the Varjo headset, Volvo employs Varjo’s cloud-streaming feature to enable design collaboration across its various US, China, and Sweden offices.

Varjo, a Finnish company, offers high-definition headsets and a mixed reality pass-through, making it a desirable choice in the competitive XR tech market. Its Varjo XR-4 model stands out with a 20/20 Eye Tracker and a 115° field of view, delivering human-eye resolution and supporting professional software. The Varjo XR-4’s ability to overlay virtual designs onto physical vehicles provides benefits such as early error detection and cost savings.

The integration of XR technology is perceived as just the initial stage in the automobile industry’s technological transformation. Although potential hurdles include a lack of standardized equipment, concerns about data security, and a need for significant infrastructure investment, the opportunities that XR tech introduces far outweigh these challenges. Work, gaming, and hobbies are expected to experience substantial transformations.

The conclusion is that despite the potentially lengthy and complicated journey toward widespread adoption of XR technology in the automobile industry, the potential benefits far outweigh the initial challenges. The expected growth of XR technology looks set to redefine several aspects of our daily lives.

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