Volvo is partnering with Epic Games in a bid to bring a next generation of infotainment graphics to its future electric cars.
The partnership will see Volvo use the software developer’s Unreal Engine game production software to create information and entertainment graphics that are said to be photorealistic.
Epic Games is best known for creating the Fortnite video game, but its Unreal Engine is also used for other applications, including film and television production. For Volvo, which is the first European car maker to use Unreal Engine, the software will be used to create next-generation digital interfaces for the dashboards and infotainment displays of future electric cars.
Volvo said: “In the next generation of Volvo cars, customers will encounter impressive, high-quality graphics on those displays. Much sharper renderings, richer colours and brand new 3D animations are only the first steps as Volvo Cars developers continue to push the graphic envelope.”
Powering the graphics will be a third-generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms processor. The Swedish car maker says the result will be an infotainment system that is twice as fast as its predecessor. It also claims graphics generation and processing in the car will be up to ten times faster than what is currently available.
Not revealing much about its future electric vehicles, Volvo says the first car to get an infotainment system created by the Unreal Engine will be “the new, all-electric flagship model” to be revealed later in 2022. Epic Games is also working with American manufacturer GMC to create infotainment graphics and software for the new electric Hummer pickup truck.
Volvo, along with its Swedish sibling Polestar, was among the first car makers to adopt the Android Automotive infotainment system, shunning its own technology for one developed by Google and incorporating the tech firm’s voice assistant, mapping technology and Play application store.
Heiko Wenczel, director of automotive at Epic Games, said: “When you bring interactive, high-resolution graphics running in real-time into the car, you open the door to a vast range of new ways to inform and entertain everyone inside.”