Epic Games: Real-time tech is the next frontier of automotive – Automotive News

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The automotive industry is currently undergoing an exciting period of transformation. While electric cars and autonomous vehicles get the big headlines, there are changes happening across the board—whether it’s new digital cockpit technology or a move from car ownership to car subscription.

One of the biggest drivers for change in the industry is real-time technology. It touches every part of the automotive pipeline, from design to engineering to sales and beyond. 


Unreal: Build Automotive is the annual event that explores the latest developments in this field. Presented by Epic Games, this year’s event had a digital twist due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic. Epic broadcasted part of the show from its London Innovation Lab with the same cutting-edge virtual production techniques that are being used to create—and instantly swap between—photorealistic backdrops for automotive events and commercials. 

If you’ve not experienced this new tech before, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get to see it in action firsthand. Recordings of the presentations are now available.

During the event, attendees heard about some of the most exciting real-time projects taking place behind the scenes at top automakers. Volkswagen explained how it harnessed the power of virtual production to create the TV ad for the world premiere of its new electric SUV, the ID.4, and BMW talked about how real-time technology played a pivotal role in delivering its #NextGen show in 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions meant the company could no longer host an in-person event.


A number of other surprise guests from global automakers such as General Motors, and Pagani joined Unreal: Build Automotive 2021. Among the hot topics they covered are the exciting developments happening in the HMI space. HMI is set to be one of the next big frontiers of automotive—as vehicles become more and more autonomous, in-car entertainment systems will be the differentiators that drive consumer purchasing decisions. The event featured stories from some of the pioneers of next-gen HMI systems.


To get to a place where we can be playing games or watching TV rather than focusing on driving, big steps are needed to make autonomous vehicles safe. 

Real-time technology is fueling progress in this area also, as researchers run simulations to test the behavior of autonomous vehicle systems in an almost infinite number of scenarios in order to prove their safety. Watch recordings of Unreal: Build Automotive 2021, and hear from some of the companies at the forefront of this research, and find out how it’s bringing us closer to a world of fully autonomous vehicles.


Virtual production techniques are getting a lot of attention for how they’ve been put to use on films like John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and TV series like The Mandalorian.

As well as providing faster workflows and broader creative options on Hollywood film sets, these techniques have the potential to revolutionize automotive advertising and events. What’s more, they could even be leveraged earlier on in the automotive pipeline for things like virtual courtyards. You can read more about this—and the other ways real-time technology is transforming the automotive pipeline—in Epic’s Automotive Field Guide.


Visit Epic Games Unreal: Build Automotive 2021 to watch recorded presentations from the event and find out more about the real-time auto projects that are shifting the boundaries of what’s possible in the industry.