This is becoming a popular idea.
Porsche recently revealed its latest masterpiece, the 911 GT3, and while much of its expertise stems from experience gained in motorsport, the German marque needs to stay at the top of its game to stave off competitors. To do this, it is now using gaming technology to advance its development techniques. This is not something new though, as we've recently seen BMW using the tech to design factories and Hyundai using the Nvidia Drive system. The Mercedes S-Class also uses Nvidia GPUs, so what makes Porsche's use of gaming tech special?
Members of the Porsche Engineering team use Unreal software in their work. This is the same gaming engine generating the imagery in vibrant, visually-intensive games like Fortnite. Porsche uses it as an everyday tool that can teach driver assistance systems or help designers to visualize components. This technology will also be used to allow customers to "take a virtual seat in the vehicle they have just ordered, long before it leaves the assembly line."
But the real benefit is in development, where engineers can use the game engine to learn how to detect a traffic situation at lightning speed. The real benefit to this is that it means that far fewer test drives now need to be carried out.
The ability to recreate test drives over and over again in the virtual world means that every last potential scenario can be created and recreated until the driver assist system knows how to react perfectly in every situation. Ionut Tripon of Porsche Engineering Romania says that "what takes hours in reality can be reduced to seconds."
Although the time benefit is obvious, the other benefit is that cars don't need to be driven unnecessarily, meaning that the automaker's carbon footprint can be minimized. But visualizing your dream build even down to the grain of the leather is made easier with this tech. It's a brilliant way of repurposing existing tech, and we can't wait to see where it goes next.