Apparently, Chevy has been using VR since as early as 2014, when it was using its PowerWall to model virtual prototypes of its vehicle components. Now, though, Chevrolet has invested far more strongly in VR technology by building a new 3D CAVE Automated Virtual Environment.
The CAVE includes a 15-foot-wide by 8-foot-tall glass screen powered by an incredibly strong projector (twice as good, Ward’s Auto noted, than an IMAX theater screen), as well as a cockpit where designers, executives, and others sit while wearing VR headsets and antennae to track their movement.
Practically speaking, this will allow developers to see imperfections and be able to tell how a given component might look in the real world, helping the designers avoid problems like undue glare from the dashboard while ensuring that the interior is up to snuff, all without needing to go through the laborious process of building a physical prototype.
Chevrolet has already used its new VR toy to help design the new, upcoming 2018 Chevrolet Traverse (which we received a shadowy teaser of a few days ago), which should be revealed in Detroit.
Apparently, though, Chevy doesn’t see this as replacing the traditional clay models, saying that, at least for the time being, VR will simply be amplifying the design process.