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Virtual reality technology is helping to streamline the design process for Honda

Not only is VR being used to help design the outside of the vehicles but also the inside

Honda has showcased its virtual reality design studios located in Los Angeles. This inside look highlights how the company uses VR and mixed-reality technology in the development of new vehicles.

Many think of VR and their minds go straight to video games, however, VR technology along with augmented reality and mixed reality have far wider uses. Many industries now use a combination of these technologies to streamline processes within the workplace. Others use it to train members or staff or even educate students.

So, how can it be used in car manufacturing? By using VR, Honda is able to dramatically speed up the process of designing and developing new cars. New details shared by the company reveal how this technology has been used in the creation of vehicles such as its electric EVs.

Quick production with VR

VR is quickly becoming a critical tool for Honda in its development process. The Honda Prologue is the company’s first fully electric SUV which was primarily designed through VR. Honda actually started experimenting with the capabilities of VR back in 2017 with a small team but has since gone on to expand its uses.

The initial thought process was that VR could be used to speed up the design stage. If the team is working in VR this means that they could rely less on real-world assets which can become time-consuming. This process was also especially helpful during the pandemic when working virtually was far more convenient and safe.

Honda has shown in the past how its design process works, this includes sculpting the car design with clay. This clay model would then be created digitally. However, that process has now been reversed. Instead, VR is used to create the design first and then a clay mode is crafted to use as a verification tool. This ensures that the design looks good on a real and full scale.

Shaping interiors

Honda also detailed that it now has a dedicated space for VR in its studio, boasting a 2500 square feet VR arena. This space is occupied by a large modelling and visualisation team. Not only does the VR process speed up production time but it also offers opportunities for collaboration. Honda’s teams in the US and Japan have been able to virtually collaborate on designs which again, was especially useful during the height of the pandemic.

These virtual environments work with a physical seating mock-up, which enables the team to see a realistic version of the car in a digital space. This is extremely helpful for the process of designing the interior of the car. VR can offer quicker solutions for interior design as the items and materials don’t physically need to be there. Does leather seating look good, or nylon? How about colour schemes, black, red, maybe blue? These simple questions can be answered easily in VR by simply changing the virtual representation of the design.

It’s expected that Honda will continue to explore the possibilities that VR presents, as will other manufacturers. These large scale uses offer a huge opportunity for the continued growth of virtual reality.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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