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Hyundai and Kia Debut Virtual Reality Design Evaluation System at Namyang Research and Development Center

Hyundai and Kia introduced a new virtual reality (VR) design evaluation system at its global design headquarters. The new system at the Namyang Research and Development Center in South Korea, demonstrates a heightened focus on enhancing vehicle development processes through the implementation of VR technology.  The new VR technology uses several development applications, enabling teams of designers and engineers to carry out vehicle design quality assessments and development verification processes.

VR headsets allow the brands’ vehicle 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 new VR design evaluation system can currently support up to 20 simultaneous users, enabling greater cross-team collaboration than ever before.

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The new cutting-edge facility allows the designers from each brand to more efficiently review a multitude of design concepts earlier in the developmental process and in ways that were previously physically impossible. The system simulates interior and exterior design elements, lighting, colors and materials, and even virtual environments themselves. In addition to reducing development costs, these new virtual technologies are expected to increase profitability and trigger a cycle of continuously increasing R&D investment for Hyundai and Kia.

VR also enables Hyundai and Kia vehicle development teams to simulate operations of individual vehicle components, such as doors, trunk lids, engine hoods, and windshield wipers. Furthermore, the system enables teams to test vehicle ergonomics and aerodynamics more efficiently. VR design quality verification processes also show tremendous potential for developing safety technologies, as participants can virtually test vehicles in a variety of simulated environments and situations. Among others, these environments include highways, urban roadways, hills, tunnels, and low-lighting conditions.

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Hyundai first used this system during the design assessment stages of the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept Class 8 heavy-duty truck, first revealed at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in October 2019. Hyundai and Kia also plan to further introduce VR technologies in production and assembly lines to create more ergonomic, efficient and safe working environments.