Epic makes Unreal Engine suitable for automotive interfaces

Epic Games will also focus on human-machine interfaces in cars with its Unreal Engine. General Motors is the first manufacturer to use the software to create a digital cockpit. That will happen with the Hummer EV. According to Epic, the Unreal Engine is suitable for creating ‘very engaging’ infotainment systems, in both 2D and 3D. The company has therefore established the Unreal Engine HMI Initiative. Car manufacturers can join this. For the time being, it has only been announced that General Motors will do that and that the GMC Hummer EV, which will be unveiled on October 20, will use the Unreal Engine. It is not yet known whether other car manufacturers will also use the engine. Epic positions Unreal Engine as a tool that allows designers to create relatively simple designs that can be quickly iterated. According to Epic, the designs can be exported to iOS and Android devices with a single click and therefore immediately seen in action in a car. Unreal Engine will receive specific HMI features. For example, Epic wants to ensure a fast start-up time. According to the company, interface loading on some cars now takes ten seconds or more. Interfaces created with the Unreal Engine are said to boot ‘very quickly’ because content that is not immediately needed can be started later. Epic also promises integration with Mapbox. This is a supplier of maps. Currently Unreal Engine can be used in cars whose software platform is based on Linux or Android. Epic will also make its engine compatible with BlackBerry QNX. That former operating system for BlackBerry smartphones is used as the basis for infotainment systems and digital interfaces of cars from many manufacturers, such as Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, KIA, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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