How the motor racing industry is leveraging augmented reality

How the motor racing industry is leveraging augmented reality

Anne Asensio explains how Dassault Systèmes is helping Everspeed Group enhance design practices 

Caspar Herzberg |

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of The Record.

The world of motor racing is where technology and sport intertwine. Having the fastest, most efficient and safest car in the race can be the difference between glory and despair. One technical issue could ruin a driver’s chances of winning, so no stone is left unturned when it comes to preparing a vehicle to race and run intelligently during competition. A spectrum of technologies has the potential to revolutionise the work that is done in this space, with artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things all being explored and embraced in different ways.

In this vein, Dassault Systèmes is leading the way with the use of augmented reality (AR) in motorsport. This technology superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, helping them improve practices and enhance decision-making.

Working alongside the Everspeed Group, Dassault Systèmes’ Design Studio has created the HoloOak AR experience in the context of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Interactive and immersive, HoloOak aims to explore issues and provide digital solutions in the motorsport space through an innovative and collaborative approach, while promoting sensitive and sustainable design. Wearing a Microsoft Hololens AR device, users become immersed in a virtual environment in which they can interact with the actual vehicle and its virtual version.

The collaboration between Everspeed and Dassault Systèmes came about thanks to a shared pursuit of innovation and excellence. The Dassault Systèmes Design Studio focuses on ‘experience thinking’, anchored in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, in a continuous exploration of new usages, technologies, brand identity, and novel business models. Led by French businessman and racing driver Jacques Nicolet, Everspeed Group includes a dozen different businesses positioned throughout the automotive supply chain and associated industries. The group includes the racing stable OAK Racing, as well as Onroak Automotive, a French builder of endurance sports vehicle prototypes that aims to develop a comprehensive brand of race cars.

The HoloOak experience evolved in the context of performance and high reactivity, helping to improve existing products and methodologies, and constantly create new working models.

Design in the motorsport space is a multi¬disciplinary endeavour that integrates various areas of expertise, both inside and outside the company. This is why innovation and the adoption of digital solutions such as Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform make such a difference. Specifically with AR, the combination of virtual and real can play an essential role in the design process. Simulation, real-time visualisation, and intensive collaboration are the perfect blend to accelerate innovation.

This unified and shared way of working represents the manufacturing world of the future. Thanks to virtual and AR, users in the design and production spaces have access to new areas of collaboration, helping them simulate innovative proposals and allowing them to assist in the decision-making process.

Digital solutions allow collaboration in real time, by delivering successive iterations between design, production, and research and development teams. This supports fast and continuous improvements, and represents a significant development for manufacturers. The HoloOak approach has universal potential and is very widely adaptable to different areas and uses. Management and telemetry in real time could be adopted to help monitor sites at risk and energy management for example. With design and review in context and real-time decision support, many industries could benefit.

HoloOak also foreshadows clearly emerging trades and new modes of learning, including training. AR is still gaining momentum and will undoubtedly continue to do so, as more companies and industries realise the potential benefits it has.

The HoloOak solution experience has been nominated for the Observeur du Design 2018 awards, one of the most prestigious design competitions in France.

Anne Asensio is vice president design experience at Dassault Systèmes

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