Hyundai partners Unity to build meta-factory

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 07 Jan 2022

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company, a leading mobility innovator, and Unity a leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content have announced a partnership at CES 2022 to jointly design and build a new metaverse roadmap and platform for Meta-Factory.  

Through this MoU, Unity becomes a strategic partner to Hyundai to support its vision of becoming the leader in future mobility solutions. The understanding pertains to the fields of smart manufacturing, AI training and study as well as autonomous driving simulation. The partnership is said to realise Hyundai’s vision of becoming the first mobility innovator to build a Meta-Factory concept, a digital twin of an actual factory, supported by a metaverse platform.

The virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony saw participation from Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group; Hong Bum Jung, SVP and CEO of Hyundai Motor Global Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS); Jules Shumaker, SVP, Revenue, Create Solutions, Unity and Dave Rhodes, SVP of Digital Twin, Unity.

The Korean company says the introduction of a Meta-Factory will allow it to test-run a factory virtually in order to calculate the optimised plant operation and enable plant managers to solve problems without having to physically visit the plant.  The partnership will also culminate in a real-time 3D and virtual platform which will reach a broad group of Hyundai customers, offering them a more comprehensive range of services across sales, marketing, and customer experience. This means consumers will now be able to trial, test and engage various auto related solutions digitally, long before choosing which to transfer to physical vehicles.

Hyundai plans to first apply the Meta-Factory concept to the HMGICS facility, supporting the Group’s initiative to create an open innovation hub for research and development. Due to be completed at the end of 2022, HMGICS will study many advanced technologies and mobility services. At HMGICS, Hyundai and Unity’s partnership will further accelerate innovation in the field of intelligent manufacturing, integrating AI, 5G and other advanced technologies into a next-generation smart factory platform.

President Chi said, "HMGICS will become a manufacturing innovation ‘game changer’ through this world class Meta-Factory collaboration. And HMGICS will lead the future innovation by introducing various technologies that will transform mobility paradigm through human-centered value chain innovation. Beginning with the MoU, Hyundai and Unity will seek ways to expand the partnership in order to realise breakthrough innovations in metaverse-based digital twin factory, while also expanding collaborating in the fields of AI training and study as well as autonomous driving simulation. Hyundai will also continue to pursue active partnership opportunities with other global partners such as Microsoft in order to further accelerate advancement of smart factory.”

John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity said, “Real-time digital twins will permanently change how we live, work, shop and make a positive impact on our planet, representing a significant component of what is often referred to as the metaverse. Hyundai’s vision for the future, including the digital twin of factory operations, represents a significant technological step forward in manufacturing with unlimited potential in its efficiency.”

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