General Motors has been using virtual reality for some time, but it bet big on the technology after investing in its newest 3D CAVE Automated Virtual Environment.
The technology is giving designers an all new way of perfecting future vehicle designs and even allows GM to forego physical and expensive design prototypes.
“It is a very, very important part of the design process, and a cool place to hang out,” Chevrolet Global Design chief John Cafaro told WardsAuto.
The 3D CAVE features a glass screen measuring 15 feet wide and 8 feet tall powered by a Barco 4K Digital Light-Processing stereo projector with a pixel resolution of 4095 x 2160. As the report notes, it’s twice as powerful as a standard-issue IMAX theater screen. The CAVE itself features a cockpit where designers, executives and others sit with 3D glasses and antennas to track their movement.
The technology can help designers spot imperfections and help them realize how something will look or function in the real world, such as how the sun will glare off of the dashboard, or how a cubby space will function for the driver.
Specifically, the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse benefitted greatly from this practice, and rightfully so. In today’s scorching hot crossover market, Chevrolet’s upcoming full-size CUV needs to be a knockout.
But, GM doesn’t see traditional clay sculpting or design going away anytime soon. Virtual reality is only coming about to help amplify the design process.