Epic Games Introduces Unreal Engine Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and Automotive Development Workflows

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

October 12, 2020

General Motors GMC HUMMER EV will be the first vehicle to use Unreal Engine in its digital cockpit; new automotive technology and service alliances include BlackBerry QNX, Mapbox, Qualcomm and more.

Epic Games announced a new HMI initiative to enable the creation of automotive infotainment and digital cockpit experiences. According to the company, General Motors’ not yet revealed GMC HUMMER EV will be the first vehicle to use Unreal Engine HMI in its digital cockpit, with more details to come at the car’s October 20th unveiling.

Unreal Engine is designed to provide key features for design driven development. These include support for version control, visual scripting via Blueprints, and direct access to a C++ codebase that enables more functionality to be exposed. Rather than passively producing reference images for engineers to implement, this enables designers to directly collaborate with engineers and actively deploy designs into the vehicle.

Unreal Engine currently supports hardware platforms including the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Platform, Siili Auto’s bespoke infotainment systems, and Vectorform’s digital product and customer experience platform. Support for the QNX Neutrino RTOS, a microkernel real-time operating system from BlackBerry QNX and Mapbox navigation are in development. 

According to the company, automotive companies are using Unreal Engine for car configurators and marketing operations. Existing projects, assets, and pipelines can be reused for HMI systems, only requiring mobile optimization of assets. Conversely, assets created by teams working on HMI can later be repurposed for use in marketing materials. Once optimized, these assets can be used to target mobile applications or companion apps.

Unreal Engine is available for free download today.

For more information, visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/industry/hmi

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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