Epic Games, creators of battle royale game, Fortnite, is partnering with General Motors (GM), in building what it calls its human-machine interface (HMI) initiative. Epic will use its Unreal Engine game development platform to build in-car software for an upcoming Hummer EV.
Unreal Engine is the primary software toolset with which developers make Fortnite and other big-budget video games. This development will make the Hummer EV the first to use Unreal Engine with an unveiling set for 20th October 2020.
Electric vehicles primarily rely on using software for their design, and assembled cars already utilise many onboard computers, touchscreens, and digital interfaces mainly to power infotainment centers and other sources of information shown to drivers.
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Since Unreal Engine is a fantastic platform for building software, Epic believes it would work perfectly for building the software that vehicle use.
“At Epic Games, we’ve long been interested in the way the requirements for HMI development overlap with those of game development. Much of the functionality required to create HMI systems has been available in Unreal Engine for some time,” Epic explains in a blog post.
Epic says its partnership with GM is based on a prediction that autonomous vehicles will, in the future, make the act of driving less important than the activities that can take place in the vehicle whilst the software is in control of the vehicle. Epic’s interest is in making the Unreal Engine a core pillar for those activities. Whether its streaming video, gaming, or making voice and video calls.
“What if an automotive brand had their own games that only their vehicle users can access? Or drivers could customize their HMI visuals and voice assistant with the personality of their favorite video game character?. With Unreal Engine as the HMI platform, opportunities such as this become possible,” Epic says.
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