- Next-generation VR was key technology in styling of 2024 Honda Prologue EV
- VR provides immersive environments for Honda designers and engineers to collaborate on next generation of products
Honda is leveraging advanced virtual reality (VR) technology to develop future products ranging from the full-electric 2024 Honda Prologue to the rugged, all-new 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport. VR has quickly become a critical tool for Honda designers in the development of future mobility products.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions threatened the ability of Honda designers to collaborate with engineers on the design of the all-new Prologue. The styling team in the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles leading Prologue's design accelerated the use of VR to bridge the divide among its global design and development teams.
Utilizing VR, the design team accelerated collaboration with various engineering and design groups using VR environments. The computer aided design model enabled global design teams to receive immediate feedback and apply refinements to the clay modelling, colour, material and finishes related to the EV model. As a result, Prologue design development not only remained on track, but the real-time global collaboration also advanced the team's capabilities and the role of VR design moving forward.
"Incorporating virtual and augmented reality in the design process allowed our Honda engineers and designers to merge digital content and physical assets in a cohesive way to interact with what they're experiencing and touching in an immersive environment," said Mathieu Geslin, VR technology leader, Honda Design studio. "Honda Prologue was key to fully using VR in a data-led design process, with clay modelling as the verification tool, something we will carry forward into the development of other Honda products."
While Honda Prologue also deployed traditional design processes by having a full-size exterior clay model to refine the details, even as the interior design execution was mainly carried-out by VR and AR technology. For interior design, these virtual methods transformed the design process and provided visualization of unlimited colour and materials applications, improved collaboration, and allowed for quicker feedback.
"Virtual reality prototyping removed limitations to the interior design and allowed us to address feedback quicker and collaborate more cohesively with the HMI and colour, materials and finishes design teams," said Lisa Lee, interior design project lead.
The possibilities of using VR as a tool in the development process started six years ago with the Honda design team exploring, testing, and validating the technology as part of its effort to continue to find new, more efficient means to create better products. This advance work enabled the team to have the right skills, equipment and artistic ability when the need arose during the COVID pandemic.
The all-new 2023 Honda Pilot was the first production model where the LA-based team used VR for a product evaluation. One of the many tests performed included colour evaluation in a VR environment, which is valuable for the colour, materials, and finishes team to visualize all trims holistically, enabling instant feedback between the design studios in LA and Japan.
"We don't want to lose emotion and the human touch to Honda design, so we won't pursue a purely digital or clay-based design approach, but we are really excited about the Honda products that will be coming to customers in the future by leveraging VR technology," said Mathieu. "It's an ongoing effort to further explore the technical capabilities of VR and AR in our development centres worldwide for cross-collaboration that will further enhance the appeal and quality of our products."
More details on the Honda Prologue will be released in the coming months with customers encouraged to sign up for updates at https://www.honda.ca/en/future-vehicles/prologue.
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About Honda Canada
Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. Since 1986, the company has produced Honda engines and almost 10 million cars and light trucks at its Alliston, Ontario manufacturing facilities, where the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V are currently built. Honda Canada has invested over $6.5 billion in Canada, and each year sources over $3 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Since its inception, Honda Canada has sold over five million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada through a dealer network of more than 280 dealerships across the country. For more information, please visit www.hondacanada.ca.
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