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How Daimler uses Unity across its automotive lifecycle

March 25, 2020 in Manufacturing | 3 min. read
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We invited Daniel Keßelheim and Sebastian Rigling of Daimler Protics to share about the experiences they create with Unity as their development tool of choice. Learn how they implemented mixed reality across key stages of the lifecycle of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Daimler Protics shapes digital reality for Daimler AG, one of the world’s largest automakers. Its mixed reality team develops everything from proof of concepts to ready-to-use applications for Mercedes-Benz and other brands.

Watch the Unite Copenhagen talk below to learn how Daimler Protics uses Unity to create a mixed reality pipeline connected to systems and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) data, then deploy applications to multiple platforms, including Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus devices, and smartphones.

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Powering mixed reality experiences across the automotive lifecycle

In their talk, Keßelheim and Rigling shared how Unity has provided a flexible development platform for everything from R&D to after-sales service. “For every problem we were confronted with, related to mobile mixed realities in automotive, we found a solution with Unity,” said Keßelheim. Let’s cover a few of the many ways they use Unity to create and deploy HoloLens applications at various stages of the automotive lifecycle.

Production

Daimler Protics uses Unity for a variety of use cases in the production phase, from planning factory layouts (e.g., previsualizing machinery and architecture) to assembly training (e.g., training workers on how to assemble the cars). This section walks through a safety inspection use case.

Daimler’s HoloLens application enables a safety inspection of a robotic laser welding system.

Automakers often use robotic laser welding to precisely and efficiently fuse various parts of the vehicle together. When Daimler’s robot cell is in operation, however, the space is closed off to prevent anyone from looking inside and losing their sight, making safety inspections difficult.

The team developed an application that replays each robot’s logged movements on the HoloLens once a session is complete. This application displays predefined safety spaces, so it's easy to verify whether the robot’s movements have adhered to safety protocols.

Sales and marketing

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A HoloLens experience created by Daimler Protics for the Mercedes-Benz EQC.

Mercedes-Benz formed the EQ brand for its new fleet of electric vehicles. For the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the automaker’s first fully electric compact luxury SUV, the Daimler Protics team created a HoloLens experience to help drivers better understand the inner workings of an electric vehicle compared to the gas-powered versions to which they’re accustomed.

Designed for auto shows and dealership showrooms, the self-serve application guides users – the vast majority of whom have never used a mixed reality headset – showing them where to look and identifying various points of interest as they walk around the vehicle. Daimler uses Unity and the HoloLens to tell a rich, interactive story about the Mercedes-Benz EQC, including the location of the battery powering the vehicle, and how it works and charges.

After-sales: Maintenance and repair

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Daimler’s HoloLens application trains technicians on a nine-gear transmission.

Traditional training programs use cut-section models to instruct technicians on how to service an automotive transmission. While working on a full-scale physical model is helpful for understanding, the value of a cutaway version disconnected from the car as an educational tool is limited.

Daimler Protics solved this dilemma using mixed reality. The application not only surfaces the transmission’s various hard-to-see components, it also makes it easy to replicate the experience of the running engine and visualize how it changes when shifting gears or braking. 

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Unity is the leading platform for creating content for AR and VR applications. Learn how to get started developing AR applications with Unity

For more information about how Unity is used across the automotive lifecycle, check out this blog post and read our whitepaper.

March 25, 2020 in Manufacturing | 3 min. read
Topics covered