It's definitely one of the more unusual stories of the automotive world.
BMW is trying something a little bit crazy in how it designs its vehicles — and it could have big implications for how future cars in its production line look.
Virtual reality is exploding in popularity, but BMW has a different idea for it: they want to design cars while wearing HTC Vive headsets, according to a company statement.
BMW is having their designers put VR headsets on as they develop the concepts of the next generation cars and then turn them into production vehicles.
BMW has actually been working with virtual reality systems for quite a while, but this is definitely new territory for them. They are using an Intel Core i7 processor and dual Nvidia Titan X raphics cards, along with the Unreal Engine — an engine most might associate with popular video games like BioShock. This system will be able to clock in at 90FPS, allowing for a smooth stereoscopic HD display on the Vive. Also, they will put in real BMW engine sounds and track the driver’s movements.
“BMW has been employing VR systems in the development process since the 1990s,” the BMW statement reads. “It is now reaffirming its pioneering status by systematically implementing technology from a sector which has not previously been the focal point of industrial applications. Since this spring, components from the computer games industry have been allowing engineers and designers to immerse themselves more and more often in virtual worlds that are increasingly realistic. The shorter innovation cycles of consumer electronics result in a far wider scope of functions together with lower costs. This thereby enables more vehicle functions to be translated to a VR model in ever more realistic fashion. It is furthermore possible to scale the system to many different developer workstations with little effort.”