Electric Volvo EX90 Shows How Unreal Engine Gaming Software Makes Cars Better To Use

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Its human-machine interface system would not be possible without the help of Epic Games.

Auto manufacturers across the industry are taking full advantage of the revolutionary Unreal Engine 5 3D graphic software, with the Volvo EX90 being the latest example. The all-new Swedish electric SUV has used this powerful program developed by Epic Games for its human-machine interface (HMI) to provide users with a claimed class-leading in-car connectivity experience.

The Unreal Engine program will be combined with its cloud connectivity infrastructure to generate photorealistic graphical content in real-time via the 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, together with the digital instrument cluster and head-up display, for an array of features such as navigation and semi-autonomous driving events. The system's core is made up of Nvidia's Xavier and Orin Drive AI platforms, with in-house developed software from Volvo engineers and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

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The most important philosophy of a human-machine interface system is that it must feel both natural and comfortable to those who are using it. The advanced engine claims to succeed in providing this relation by providing crisp graphics at a very fast and efficient pace which makes for a seamless user interface in the EX90.

Although the EX90 is the most digitally advanced product to come from Volvo in its long manufacturing history, it promises to maintain multi-terrain capabilities. This will be improved by integrating the car's sensors, radars, and cameras into Unreal Engine for a quick delivery of information that will inform the driver of road conditions and provide support from the systems even faster.


It's no surprise that Volvo claims its newest SUV is defined more by its software than anything else. HMI is said to be a key factor in giving its users a cutting-edge EV experience by accentuating its connectivity, convenience, and safety features. It adds that this integration is just the start, as an HMI powered by Unreal Engine and its other partners will help brands like Volvo evolve into the next step of autonomy.

BMW is another manufacturer that is taking advantage of the Unreal Engine technology with its semi-virtual driving experience. Although it's not on the same level as we see here, it is still a strong example of how manufacturers are fully invested in getting their customers invested in the digital world.

2024 Volvo EX90 Central Console Volvo

Regarding the integration of Unreal Engine in the EX90, Volvo Cars Head of User Experience Thomas Stovicek explains, "The Volvo EX90 is a significant step in technology for Volvo Cars, and not only because it is the first vehicle to be designed around our new all-electric platform. It also begins our journey to much higher levels of engagement with drivers and passengers through a range of new features, many of which are still just ideas, but which we can now develop quickly and push to existing vehicles with Unreal Engine."

Unreal Engine automotive director at Epic Games, Heiko Wenczel, adds, "Drivers feel more comfortable with automated systems if they can see what the systems are seeing and agree with the interventions. Differences between reality and the display can require the driver's brain to close the gap, translating one onto the other. This increases the cognitive load and means the driver's eyes are off the road for longer than they should be if not in fully autonomous mode. Real-time visualization makes a significant contribution to eliminating this disparity and any equally stressful latency."

2024 Volvo EX90 Central Control Panel Volvo

Autonomy and digitalization are the next major frontiers for most manufacturers and it is pretty clear that the gaming industry is the key to getting there faster. One of Unreal Engine's main rivals is the software developed by Unity Technologies, which Mercedes-Benz is showing a strong interest in. Although this caters to less demanding mobile games, it is still proving to be a solid platform for automotive human-machine interfaces.

We're also well aware that Nvidia, a giant in the gaming industry, is launching an expansive partnership program for software and graphical processing that has already attracted the likes of Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, and other big-time manufacturers. It's safe to say that the relations between the automotive and gaming industries are only likely to grow more prominent going forward.

2024 Volvo EX90 Instrument Cluster Volvo Volvo
2024 Volvo EX90 Instrument Cluster

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