The growing prevalence of high-performance computing platforms in cars combined with the increasing sizes and numbers of displays are driving demand for more immersive in-vehicle human-machine interface (HMI) experiences. To make these advanced user interfaces (UIs) possible, Unity is collaborating with Elektrobit (EB), whose EB GUIDE platform powers in-car UIs for more than 50 million vehicles from manufacturers such as Audi, GM, and Volkswagen.
Learn more about the Unity-EB HMI collaboration at our upcoming session during CES 2021. Join us on Tuesday, January 12 at 9 a.m. PST / 5 p.m. GMT to get your questions answered and see a demo of an automotive cockpit UI that brings together EB GUIDE and the Unity Editor.
From design to device without compromise
Traditional HMI processes for going from design to device are not only time-consuming but require the key collaborators – automotive manufacturing, design partners, HMI system Tier 1 suppliers, and key system-on-chip (SoC) vendors – to make many trade-offs and compromises. When design visions are not reflected as originally imagined in the production UI and HMI implementation, a major reason is that teams use different software, speak different terminologies, and explore different workflows during the design and development stages.
In the end, a lot of work needs to be repeated and recreated. An integrated HMI toolchain that facilitates the design process all the way through to implementation can drive major efficiencies, reducing the design-to-development time, effort, and complexity required to bring these experiences to vehicles.
Unity and EB: Enabling safe, immersive in-vehicle experiences
Proof of concept HMI demo created using Unity and EB GUIDE, running on an NXP i.MX 8QM-based platform and Yocto Linux
Unity believes real-time 3D technology brings significant improvements to this process. It paves the way to transform HMI workflows from a disconnected series of related activities into a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective delivery system for superior user experiences.
Because Unity’s real-time 3D enables what you see is what you get development, all content can be developed in the same context, previewed, and iterated on together. Teams can preview designs much earlier and directly deploy them to embedded targets (e.g., automotive-grade chipsets) – not just during development. This is a game-changer that can help eliminate compromises and complexities that typically occur as projects transition from design to development.
To bring the power of real-time 3D to this field, Unity is committed to working with the broader HMI ecosystem and market leaders like EB. EB offers one of the industry’s most widely used HMI platforms, EB GUIDE, and is one of the leading companies addressing functional safety.
Our collaboration with EB enables Unity to help power the creation of automotive-grade HMIs that integrate 2D, 3D, and safety-relevant content into a single experience. Teams can design and develop state-of-the-art HMI experiences easier and faster while ensuring they meet the safety needs and legal regulations of the automotive industry.
Learn more about the Unity-EB collaboration from Thomas Moder, product manager of EB’s HMI solutions
How it works
The Unity-EB collaboration introduces a new end-to-end workflow to get from UX design to embedded design seamlessly. It integrates the Unity Editor and EB GUIDE, facilitating a direct co-development experience between the platforms.
Teams can create content in each application – for instance, the UI in EB GUIDE and 3D assets and animations in Unity – then preview the combined content in EB GUIDE Studio. To show what’s possible, EB and Unity created a joint, proof-of-concept demo running on an NXP i.MX 8QM-based platform and Yocto Linux.
Content from the Unity Editor can run simultaneously in EB GUIDE Studio, enabling an instant preview of how the HMI will appear on target hardware
The instrument cluster and safety-relevant content are created in EB GUIDE Studio, while contemporary 3D navigation and 3D in-car games are made with Unity. It provides a glimpse at how EB GUIDE customers can diversify the content placed in the automotive cockpit leveraging Unity’s real-time 3D rendering and graphics capabilities.
For a deeper dive into the Unity-EB collaboration and to see a demo, make sure to attend our upcoming webinar on January 12.