Volvo will partner with Epic Games for advanced EV technologies

Jessica Thompson

Volvo Cars and video game company Epic Games are partnering to improve the role of the human-machine interface for Volvo’s next generation of electric vehicles.

According to a statement Wednesday, Epic Games will use a visualization tool known as Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine — used to power the popular video game Fortnite — will run on the HMI and provide “state of the art graphics” and other key features such as multi-user scalability and high-speed, two-way data communications systems.

In an email to Automotive News, Epic Games spokesperson Richard Gotch said that while other companies had been using Unreal Engine for several years, the partnership marked the first time Epic Games is collaborating with a European vehicle manufacturer on an HMI project.

“Unreal Engine is already used in some way by most of the world’s major vehicle manufacturers, with applications ranging from sales configurators to styling, engineering and manufacturing planning,” Gotch wrote.

In a statement Thomas Stovicek, Volvo head of user experience, said Volvo hoped the partnership would improve driver-assistance and visualization technologies to provide “richer layers of information” to the driver without the “additional distraction or stress” that come with repeated notifications from the vehicle.

“This new relationship isn’t just about bringing astonishing game-quality graphics into our cars,” Stovicek said. “It’s about new ways of using visual communications to explain new technologies, to deliver new customer value and to bring the outside world safely into the vehicle.”

Stovicek also said the partnership was an opportunity to “provide entirely new functions and services” such as improved connectivity with other vehicles and the outside environment.

Volvo expects to announce its first vehicle using Unreal Engine sometime this year.

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